Chronic Illness: Let the Grief in

I flip to a blank page and sit silently, staring, wondering why I can’t seem to find the words I need to write. So many words swimming around up there, just beyond my reach.

I watch them - distorted, bending and twisting around each other. They float around, nebulous, slowly changing colors and opacities.



Thunder rumbles in the distance, a momentary distraction- a distraction I don’t need but will welcome like my very best friend after too many months apart. Comforting. The sound of thunder feels like home. Familiar.

I reach out to grab hold of a thought, a feeling, the words to finally give substance to the amorphous blob I’ve been carrying for too long.

She started out a liar, telling me after this, everything would be fine. Making me believe I was 2 big leaps from getting on with my life. Convincing me it was a fluke- a hiccup. I believed her. I believed it would be fine, that I’d get to move on like nothing ever happened.

But, she lied, and I think I’ve yet to forgive her.

Where is she now? Now that nothing is the same and very little is okay and I’m floundering in this body I never asked for. Trapped. A prisoner.

She made me believe whatever was wrong would be easy to manage once we could give it a name. She said, once we could call it by its name we’d be free again.

She lied.

She says it’s because believing those mistruths helped me persevere. They helped me believe when I needed to believe.

What is going to help me believe now?

Why isn’t she talking anymore? Where did she go?

Thunder rumbles again. Long, slow, bass cranked up the way I hate it in cars but love it now.

Maybe she’s been replaced by the storm. Maybe she drowned in it.

Maybe she became it.

I feel like Te Fiti- my life source has been stolen.

Maybe she took it with her when she left us.

Maybe I’ll get to find it again.

Maybe there’s a time and space somewhere down the road where I won’t have pain every day of my life and I never have to wonder how my body is going to rebel next.

Maybe I’m supposed to learn to accept that I will never be without this pain.

Perhaps with every disjointed thought I write, I get closer to the well of acceptance where every word I need to write sits waiting.

My therapist says I’m grieving, but forreal this time. It’s not like before, when I exchanged grief for compartmentalization

No… this is the real grief. The kind you can’t compartmentalize anymore. The kind that demands to be felt and moved through, not around. The kind that prefers you stop trying to sugarcoat the weight of it all and how much it completely and utterly sucks.

So I’ll move through it, doing very little, because this isn’t the time to “do,” it’s the time to “be.”


And be I will.

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