“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go” ~ Jamie Anderson
Grief is not a road we walk, or a journey we take. It is not a process that can be defined by stages we are told we must feel – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. It is not a textbook diagram, or a framework we must comply to. It isn’t a task we must complete. We don’t push through it, we don’t move into it and out of it, we don’t follow a linear progression until we reach the other side of it.
There are no rules to grief. We can only succumb to it, surrender to it, let our hearts break open for it. It is an ebb and flow, a dance of pain and love, a coming together only to once again fall apart. It is a feeling of overcoming, only to awake every single morning in the arms of grief once more.
Grief is an alteration of who we once were, to who we now become. It is an adjustment of ourselves, an adaptation to our souls. We don’t work through our grief and return to who we once were. There can never be a return to the people we once were. We are broken by grief; shattered. We can never look the same, mend the same, be the same. We lose fragments of ourselves, leave behind the pieces that cut too deeply, the pieces we long to forget, need to forget. Whatever we now become, we put together from the brokenness we scrounge from what little we have left.
Grief changes us.
Grief breaks us.
Grief is love with no place to go.
And so in our grief, the only thing to do is to give our love a place to go.
Love with word, love with deed, love with action.
Love one another so fiercely that our love is spent, that are chests are no longer hollow, that the lump in our throats hurts a little less.
Love for those who hurt the most, who have lost the most, and then love them even harder.
Because the truth about grief is that it never leaves.
Grief lasts as long as love lasts – forever.
Somehow, may love become light in the darkness of our grief.
My love, thoughts, and prayers are with my local community at this time, who have suffered a loss beyond comprehension. I don’t understand. I will never understand. But I know our hearts unite in love for those who have lost so much. May they know they are not alone.