“For in grief nothing ‘stays put.’ One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?
But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?
How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, ‘I never realized my loss till this moment’? The same leg is cut off time after time.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
As a part of a writing class on grief, I was asked to personify my personal grief…I was asked: WHO ARE YOU? TELL ME WHO YOU ARE?
This was my answer:
I am not bound by space. I am sometimes subtle…but obviously I am sometimes not. I like to play games with you. It brings me great joy to see you struggle, or cry, or get angry. I am something you cannot control and in that, I find power. I am something you can’t see therefore you can’t prepare for. But I will always let you know when I’m around. I like to hide in the shadows so you forget for a moment about me. But I also like to engulf you…that heaviness you feel when you think you can’t breathe and panic? That’s me. But I also enjoy brazing by you with just a light touch just enough to not let you forget that I am always here.
I am like the the characters in Screwtape Letters…I’m in your head, Stephanie. I know your thoughts. I know your joys. But most importantly, I know your insecurities. I know your guilts. And it brings me great pleasure to expand on them and make them reach wide…I prey on them…I enjoy to exploit them to bring you harm…I like to push them to the forefront of your mind even when you try to enjoy yourself.
Sometimes, I like to hang around you all day, giving you that sadness you just can’t seem to shake. I know that all it takes is just a whisper to plant a thought and then sit back and watch you crumble.
My job is to rob you of your joy.
Maybe someday you’ll be strong enough to push me aside or know what to expect when I come calling. But deep down I know the cycle will never stop and I’ll be hiding in your shadows behind you for the rest of your life.
And the pleasure is all mine…
[photo by Dani Luc Photography]