Grief is not the opposite to love. It is love. Love turned inside out, upside down and back to front.
Grief is such a small, tiny word. It doesn’t encapsulate the feeling that your heart has been ripped in two; the piece that can feel joy and happiness, knows how to laugh and smile now missing, what remains is the half that feels sorrow and pain, longing and guilt.
It doesn’t express the lurching fear that washes over you each and every time you contemplate the world, your new world, now missing one vital person.
Grief doesn’t explain why your insides feel rigid, your stomach leaden. Why you can no longer eat, sleep, create. Why if you try to smile your skin feels taut, unnaturally stretched over your skeleton.
Grief does not help you to comprehend how incredulous it seems that the sun still rises, that people continue to love, laugh, hope.
Grief does not cover astonishment that the human body continues to function, lungs inflate, hearts beat but you cannot remember the simplest of tasks, making toast is unfathomable.
It doesn’t begin to prepare you for the oceans you will cry. For the times you will wake with cheeks wet, pillow sodden. For the inherent sadness, now as much a part of you as your bones.
The main thing, the most important thing, that grief knows is how deeply you must have loved to be experiencing such pain. The gratitude you feel for having your life enriched by one special someone. The privilege it has been to have known them, to have loved them, to have been loved in return. Grief can be a million happy memories. A comforting presence of a life that once was.
Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday. Word prompt – opposite.