The Day Grief Moved In

About ten years ago Sorrow unexpectedly entered my life. I had known relatively little of her before that time. I had experienced sadness, frustration, doubt, loneliness, even emptiness, yet I cannot say that I truly knew Sorrow. She slipped into my world unannounced - her dark form hidden beneath the coattails of Cupid. Since that time Sorrow visited me frequently, often sitting and staying for tea. Then two years ago she brought with her a daughter, Grief.

Grief didn't just visit. She moved in and took over my house and my heart. Even when I moved from one apartment to another, from one city to another, she came with me. Several times I put her out, and yet she would return, saying it was not yet time for her to go. Grief seemed to move in waves, rising and ebbing in an undulating, oceanic expanse. Many have assured me that the ocean of Grief dries up of her own accord, by Divine order, one drop at a time. Grief follows no timetable. She comes when called, and goes only when her purposes have been fulfilled.

There is no way to fully understand or articulate the workings of Grief. She is the child of Love and his shadow bride, Sorrow. Grief cannot exist independently. Without the presence of Love, there can be no Grief.

It was quite some time, maybe months, before I learned that my new companion had a name and that her name was Grief. I also learned that although she has no timetable, Grief does in fact move - in stages. Each stage prepares the way for the following one.

One day Grief's cousin, Despair, too came knocking. I explained things oh so carefully to him, so that he could not misunderstand my meaning. I let him know that I had a young son to raise, and as such, I would have no time to entertain him at my home. I gave him some extra tea and cookies, begging him not to take offense at my lack of hospitality. For some time Despair haunted the periphery of my house. However, he never did come in again, and for that I am deeply grateful.

Grief, on the other hand, continued her sojourn in our little house. I searched for an answer to when her time with me would end, but it was like searching for the edge of the ocean. Finding no edge in sight, I stopped looking. I began to feel an acceptance towards her. I stopped fighting Grief. I tasted her salty tears. I was wracked by her storms and torn by her thunder. I let it all out again and again and again. At long last I gave my emotions what they longed for - motion. Release.

Then I watched in wonder, seeing that where my once arid heart had been, a fertile garden was being prepared. Together, Grief and Sorrow were gathering my dead and decaying dreams, turning them into rich loam and soil, where Love was planting seeds. Watered by Sorrow's tears, the seeds began to sprout. I was shocked. I never expected that anything would grow in my garden again. Nor did I expect anyone to come in to tend it.

I am humbled, eternally grateful to have lived with Grief. She and her family of emotions have graced me and made my experience of Life much richer than I ever intended it to be. It is true that one who Loves must know Grief. And yet it is also true that one who Grieves does so only because he must know Love.

"What if my greatest disappointments, or the achings of this life, is a revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?" - Laura Story

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