October 22, 2021

Me & Grief: Losing a Loved one Suddenly.

** A few justified f-bombs ahead.

Sudden death.


Then mine.

This sting in my chest since that May morning. Is this where his heart broke? Is this the spot? Did he feel this pain? Is he here with me? In me?

Is he trying to tell me something? If I keep running will I die too? Maybe I shouldn’t run. Or move? Or create? Or cry? Or rage? Or thrive? Just lie perfectly still. Breathe just enough to keep this busted heart beating.

Just enough.

I remember to take a fucking breath. Breaking the surface of the ocean. I’m stunned, disoriented, and then this effortless calm comes over me and my aliveness brings my hands together in prayer. I feel the warmth of the sun on my face as I take in this big beautiful sky, acutely aware of how grateful I am to be here.


It has been said, Grief does not change you. It reveals you.” ~ John Green

Back on land again. My heels are dug deep into the ground. Full stop. Stubborn. Feigning stoic. Militant.

Like him.

The chief.

Here it comes: the reveal.

It’s all in these eyes of mine. I see now. The curtain has been pulled back and I have a front seat, all access pass to this thing called life. I see you, life. I hear you, life. I see me. I actually feel me.


I’m awake now.

It hurts.

And it heals.

There’s a freedom in the release of expectation. Of righteousness. Of fairness. Of idealistic fantasies of what should be.

Here she is: reality.

I now wonder:

If one plus one doesn’t equal two, if a man who loved life more than any of us, who truly lived every single day, who was a lifeline for the rest of us, who was supposed to outlive us all, died. Just fucking died. In his sleep. No warning. No fight to come back. Just fucking died.

Heart. Just. Stopped.

What does that reveal to me? Why bother?

Some days that sentiment fits like a glove. And others?

Every day, if I stay here, present, my head on straight, surrendering to these waves of emotion, allowing my heart to break open again and again, and again—the revelations come quick.

Some, a blow to my gut. The wind knocked out of me. Struggling for air. Piercing pain. I can’t possibly survive this. And I don’t want to. I howl at the moon. You betray me moon.

Others wash ashore like beach glass. I’ve only to look. They are everywhere. I can gather them up, hold them in my tiny hands, feel the miles they have travelled to come to rest in the sun on his beach. Oh those colors.

That moon & those colors.

This revealed me.

A pain in my chest and a heart packed with freedom to roam: me and grief.


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