I’ve always wondered what grief looked like. It’s always been a faraway thing, that I could barely touch. I’ve caught whispers of it before, it’s brushed up against my life, but today it has washed over my family and I.
I have learned that grief is an ocean that ebbs and flows over the people unfortunate enough to swim in it. I see it in the eyes of my aunt, who blames herself. I see it in the shoulders of my mother as they hunch over with every sob.
All you can hear is sobbing, and sniffing, and sound of sorrow seeping out.
Then it gets quiet, and everyone is staring ahead blankly. I can feel the numbness settling in. The ocean is quiet.
Then my aunt looks at my grandpa again. In her eyes I see the realization of what had happened all over again. And so the wave washes over again. And everything repeats.
My mother and I are frantically trying to call everyone to let them know what happened. With everyone call it feels as if another wave has hit. And so we’re drowning again.
The worst thing is looking at my mother. Her dad was her hero. Her rock. Everything she had become was because of him. I know the next few months will be hard.
I look at my grandma, whose mind is trying to piece itself together. I wonder what she feels. They were married about 60 years.
I don’t know what to do. Where can I be useful? How can I help?
Bring the tissues? Oh wait don’t do that, never bring a grieving person tissues.
Call all the family? Okay I did that.
Do I just stand beside them?
Do I hold their hand?
I want to leave this house and continue on with my day as normal.
I want my dad to come home.
I want to eat something warm.
I want to snuggle under blankets and close my eyes.
I want to remember more about my grandpa. My heart is straining towards childhood, trying to fish for memories of us together. But I feel my head running away, knowing that remembering will only hurt.
I don’t know what I want. The ocean is still and I’m floating on my back, staring at the sky, waiting for the next wave to roll over.
-Soli Deo Gloria