May 5, 2021

How it Feels to Grieve what you Never Had.


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Despite everything, this loss will hurt.

So, I’m at Starbucks, and I feel sad.

Yes, I feel sad again.

I’m asked in the drive-through what I will have and reply that I would like a caffé misto.

The barista can’t hear me, so I say my order again, holding back tears.

I find myself wishing I could drive away, but I know I need hot coffee to hold onto during my Zoom class—so I don’t cry.

I need it so I can make it another day without anyone knowing that I feel sad. Nobody can know that I’m not okay.

So, I speak again, as loudly as I can, and this time the barista hears me. This time she hears my faint voice asking for a caffé misto.

She hears this and my tears.

I grab my coffee from her shortly after and allow the tears to flood me on my way back home.

I become lost in memories. I become lost in all the losses this year has brought.

Twenty minutes later, I’m sitting in front of Zoom.

I have class and find myself trying not to cry.

I hear the words “parents” and “love” and quickly grab my coffee to distract myself and hold back the tears.

Today is one of those days; it’s one of those days in this psychology program when I question if I can do it.

The thought of being a psychologist excited me, but lately, it’s too painful to sit through class and hear the word “family.”

There’s a lot going on in the world today. There’s a lot going on at school.

I’d like to be the engaged person I used to be, but I find myself lost in a flood of tears that I hide by swallowing them with my coffee.

I know tomorrow is another day. I know I can always go get more coffee.

I think, though, that I won’t.

I think, instead, I’ll let myself cry. I’ll let myself feel sad.

Yes, tomorrow, I think I’ll let myself grieve what I never had and the loss of what will be.

When I hear “love” and “parents” tomorrow and cry, just know it’s because I’m sad and don’t have my coffee.

Just know I’m not okay. But one day, I will be.

One day this grief will be a memory. And one day, the words “love” and “parents” won’t hurt so much.

One day this loss that I am meant to experience shortly will come, and I’ll get another coffee.

I’ll get another coffee and sip each time I hear the words “love” and “parents.”

I’ll get another coffee, and despite all that transpired, look up and say, “I love you.”


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