Grief is a cruel kind of education.
You learn how ungentle mourning can be, how full of anger.
You learn how glib condolences can feel.
You learn how much grief is about a language, the failure of a language and the grasping for language
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The closest I’ve come to death of a loved one was my father last year. Looking at his lifeless body and ghastly face gave me a tinge of what it is to look death in its eyes.
I’ve read this anthology over and over again in the course of the past few months and resonating with Chimamanda’s grief and her loss of words was profound.
The aching that comes with the constant reminder that your loved one has gone, the confusion and denial that comes with the continual condolences and calls, the loss of words and the numbness of the body is an aching that can never be under looked.
Allow yourself to grieve.
Allow yourself to not have to be strong.
Allow yourself to not have to receive and respond to the calls and messages,
Allow yourself stillness.
Stillness to know that your aching and grieving heart will find rest in the immobility.
Allow your tears to freely flow and not have to stop them because only you knows how the aching beats and eats at you every single second that you are filled with a thought or a memory of the person.
Chimamanda’s bravery in putting her grief on paper is something to be marveled at. The ability to be vulnerable with yourself and not shove the feeling to the back of your mind. The vulnerability to know that she wasn’t okay, and she wasn’t about to pretend that she was okay is something I need to learn, that we all need to learn.
Don’t rush the process.
Every story and every paragraph as she reminisces on the fondness of her father’s smile, the assurance of his voice and the memories kept in pictures, scents, clothes and places ate at her each day and each morning, waking to the soreness of her eyes and body.
Grief is a fierce roaring that is never really silenced.
I regret my past uncertainties: surely you should mourn, talk through it, face it and go through it.
I have mourned in the past, but only now have I touched grief’s core.
Only now do I learn, while feeling for its porous edges, that there is no way through.
I’m at the center of its churning and I have become a maker of boxes and inside their unbending walls I cage my thoughts. I torque my mind firmly to its shallow surface alone.
I cannot think too much, I dare not think too much, I dare not think too deeply or else I will be defeated, not merely by pain but by a drowning nihilism, a cycle of thinking there’s no point, what’s the point? There’s no point to anything.
I’ve lost one too many the past few months. Either directly or indirectly and the pain is the same. I feel it every time a friend gets news that their loved one has gone; it stings because I’ve stared death in the face once and I wouldn’t want anyone to have to lose to it.
Healing will come when it’s meant to.
God keep you.
RIP TO THOSE ALL WE’VE LOST!
May the angels receive your souls with celebration.