Last week, I held my sweet cat Sophie as she passed from this life into the next. Holding her lifeless, still body in my arms brought up painful and vibrant memories of holding my daughter’s still and lifeless body when she was born not alive into this world more than 13 years ago.
The days since have been a tangle of grief over my much loved kitty and renewed grief and longing for my precious daughter gone too soon.
The depth of this renewed grief has surprised even me, who might be considered a fairly experienced veteran in this thing called grief and loss.
Even I, as familiar with grief as I am, am still sometimes caught off guard by the tangled web of emotion and depth to which it can weave its way into our lives.
I think most of us like to imagine grief and loss as singular events. Moments in time that pass and fade away into history. A one-time occurrence that comes and goes and is complete.
It would be so much neater and cleaner and easier if this were true.
Grief is subtly intrusive and pervasive. Even when we can’t see where it blooms, its roots are there, spreading beneath the surface and rising to the surface in unexpected moments and places.
New grief and old grief tangles and merges until I often find myself sobbing not just for the current loss, but also the losses of the past.
Grief upon grief, loss upon loss, until past and present cease to exist – there is only now and the heavy weight of grief and longing pressing down on me.
Part of me wishes I could turn this post around to find something positive and bright and inspiring to share with you. To inspire you with a story of hope and overcoming and rediscovered joy.
That would be nice and neat and clean.
But today I simply feel sad. Overwhelmingly sad and aching for the small beings I loved so very much. Those small beings whose immense light and brightness faded far far far before I was ready to let them go.
Because while we might want grief to be neat and clean and singular, it simply isn’t. Grief is messy. It’s tangled and messy and complex and deep.
Just like life.
Some days, the most hopeful and inspiring and bright and positive thing one do is acknowledge the sadness. To say, “I miss you.” To sit in the messiness and just be where one is. To admit that they don’t know how to do this thing called life without the one they loved.
A blossom of grief, unexpectedly unfolding in the light of life and all its messiness.
To be honest.
To be real.
To be exactly where they are, openly.
To simply be sad and grieving.
And to know that that is ok.
Today I am sad and grieving.
And that is ok.