I know Grief.
We are neither friends nor enemies. Yet neither are we merely acquaintances. I know her intimately, her deepest darkest places and her familiar lines. I would know her face in any country and recognize her silhouette in twilight.
Sometimes she comes screaming with great fury and banging. Sometimes she comes quietly, almost unannounced. Sometimes her arrival comes as a great surprise. Sometimes I know she’s coming and is just around the bend. It is hard to know which meeting is more painful. She never asks if her visits are welcome or if I am prepared. She just comes.
She unpacks her sorrow and fear and leaves them strewn about the house of my heart. She dims the lights and shuts out joy. Sometimes she merely lurks like some small child hoping almost to go unnoticed as life swirls around. Sometimes she rages and throws things until I hardly recognize my heart-home as my own..
Sometimes, she sits on my sofa and pulls my head into her lap, and she strokes my hair until I quietly weep. Sometimes, she stands me up against the wall and provokes me until I do or say things to which I would never, ever agree, and often she accomplishes this treachery, this mutiny, without a solitary conscious thought on my part.
The devastation she leaves in her wake varies in its magnitude. Sometimes, the damage is a gaping hole as though someone fired a cannonball through the walls. Sometimes, it is more a thousand tiny puncture wounds as though someone was over zealous with thumbtacks on the bulletin board.
And though I can never love her, I can never hate her. Her existence is a sign that I am alive in this world. Her arrival means that I have loved and loved deeply.
So, Grief has come again. I was expecting her this time. I have unlocked the door and cleared her spot on the sofa.