What You May Not Know About Grief

What you don’t know is that
People die because of Grief
People die because of a Broken Heart
People Die by Suicide
Because their Grief is
Too Much to Bear

I had a call just last night from the
Now-orphaned-daughter of a friend
A widow
Whose husband was my friend and colleague
He had helped Mike get to
Chemo treatments on occasion when
I just couldn’t manage to fit it all in

But my friend also died
Just months after Mike died
And my new friend
My friend’s wife
Missed him too much
And like Julia chose to end the
Desperately Painful Grief that had
Settled over her life and her being
Her present and future and
Even her past
Replacing the love she had once felt
And reveled in and rejoiced in

Not a fair reward for
Decades of love

What you do not know is that
Even when I am asleep, I feel bereft
Even when I am asleep, I am a widow
Even when I am asleep, I am a
Mother of two-not-three alive kids
Even when I am asleep, I KNOW that
Julia is DEAD and not coming back
Even when I am asleep I KNOW that
Mike is DEAD and not coming back

I feel their Absence
Every Moment of
Every Day and
Every Night

I feel their absence as an empty weight
A heavy, empty weight
An emptiness that weighs heavily
On my shoulders
In my heart
At the sides of my mouth and
Below my eyes and
Between my eyebrows
My mouth
Permanently pulled down at the corners

They say, it is said, modern convention says that
“Grief is the price of deep love”
On a good day it feels like it was worth it – maybe
On a bad day, nothing is worth the pain

It should be written into relationship contracts
That “this deep Love will be replaced by deep Grief”
Grief should come with a “use up by end of” date
It should wear off
Peter out
Fade away
But it doesn’t



This writing was inspired by one of Megan Devine’s “Writing your Grief” prompts, asking us what we would tell the “uninitiated into grief and loss” about our experience of grief.

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