Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blanket of Grief

When you are told that your loved one is no longer living, you are handed a giant piece of fabric. Huge. The first thing you do is wrap yourself tight in it. Around and around it goes, tucking in your arms and legs, tightening around your chest - but you barely notice, because you can't breathe anyway. It's like you're swaddled up, just like a newborn.

Because, in a way, you're just like that again. So utterly dependent on those around you. You can't think. You can't process. You forget there is a need to eat. Months later you'll reflect back and wonder if you had ever gone to the bathroom because you simply do not recall ever going to the bathroom.

Being birthed into grief. That's what it is. And you're wrapped tightly, with lots of arms around you, promising not to let you go.

But just as newborns grow into life, so we must grow into grief.

The fabric loosens, our arms strengthen, we become stronger and here is where we have a choice.

We can carry our grief blanket, all wadded and cumbersome, tripping on it as we try to continue to make our way. We can fall on it, arms wrapped tight, head burrowed in the folds of the fabric, cussing and crying and screaming at anyone who dares to help us to just leave us the hell alone.

Or, we can start spreading it out....

Loosen the folds, unfurl the edges. Lay it out for the whole world to see. And in that, one person will take hold of its edge. Another, a little bit further along. Until one after another, friend after friend, stranger and neighbor, supporter and lovers, each pick up a piece of the fabric.

And, together, you decide to use your grief for good.

Photo Credit: Oriental Trading Co.

1 comment:

angie said...

simply lovely.