I don’t understand, in a world where we try so desperately to make sense of things, how someone so alive becomes unalive.
My therapist says there’s nothing I can do to make sense of this; my brain says, “challenge accepted” and I try to put it together like a puzzle that’s actually three puzzles that got mixed together and are fighting to create a unified picture.
They tell us the usual things; I even repeat them myself:
“It comes in waves.”
“There is no wrong way to feel.”
“Grief looks different for everyone.”
We know they are true and we know they mean nothing, because our world ended on Wednesday and that’s all there is to say.
For me, Grief is a thin, hunched figure, cloaked in heavy gray. Sometimes he sits next to me, sometimes he holds me; sometimes he’s even in another room
But he never leaves.
Grief and I, we don’t do much.
But he likes to hear about you, and so I tell him.
I tell him how your giggle was punctuated by short breaths and how it never failed to make the rest of us laugh.
I tell him how you took care of us, of all of us, even when you needed taking care of yourself.
I tell him about your writing, how it was real and funny and profound and reached gently out to take our hands.
I tell him how once you ate an entire cake with no utensils just to make me laugh.
I tell him how hard you loved, how unapologetically you showed up for your people.
I tell him how once we rode broomsticks through the hallway, shrieking with laughter as we passed classrooms.
I tell him how I want to be able to protect you, protect all my students, create a force field around them that the mean and sharp parts of the world can’t puncture.
I tell him that this is really fucking unfair, and he just adjusts his cloak and listens. Grief doesn’t say much.
I ask him if he thinks you are watching over us, if he believes in that kind of thing, if you can see us now, if you can hear me when I talk to you at night, and he pauses and asks me what I think, and I don’t know what to say.
I ask him if he thinks you know how much we all loved you, how much I did, how much we all still do, and if you are somewhere where you can still feel the aching, fierce, explosive rays of our love.
He raises his eyes to mine, and, just for an instant, gives the tiniest, barely perceptible nod of his head.
I think so too.