Tuesday, January 14, 2003

A Note On Grief

Grief is a deep pool, clear and sharply cold. When thrown into it for the first time, we flail, panic, and struggle to reach the surface and air. Sometimes you can't even see the light, you get thrown down so deep and so dark.

That very first dunking results in complete destruction, or, a gasping breaching of the surface.

Gradually, flailing about, we learn to tread water, a little, though the cold never stops pricking at your skin.

The water in the pool is salty, like tears, but not buoyant, and there is only ever a little numbness from the cold. The pool is refreshed with each new tragedy, each new loss, layer upon layer of new waters.

Over time, the deeper, older griefs grow dark and still upon the rocky bottom of broken hearts and promises, and are only rarely disturbed by our passage through the fresher waters.

When thrown in, there is no telling from the surface if the deeper waters have been disturbed this time, that time, until we breach once more, gasping for air and tasting old salt on our lips, or feel the deep, deep cold curl around a naked limb, a dark weed from the heavy places.

The pool never goes away. In time, perhaps, we become better swimmers.

If you think this addressed specifically to you, you're only partly right.

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