Grief is my houseguest.

Grief is my houseguest.

posted in: Everyday Spirit | 1

Grief is my houseguest.

 I presume she came with our furniture, was unloaded with numerous boxes, easily missed in the clutter and chaos. Or perhaps she was part of the house, was already here when we first moved in. I certainly don’t remember issuing an invitation, but I’ve reluctantly allowed her to stay. I ask Grief to keep to herself, preferably out of the way in the laundry cupboard or behind the bookcase.

Most of the time Grief and I have an uncomfortable complicity, pretending we are strangers, ignoring one another. Yet at times Grief oversteps the mark, crossing my carefully plotted boundaries. Or peers around the doorpost like a petulant child demanding my attention. I usually turn my back and pretend I can’t see. On some days, though, I am too  angry to pretend. Not only are my hands clenched tightly, but my forehead, my stomach, my very heart. Then I spin around and confront Grief, demanding she returns to her place, and she just won’t obey. We end up clashing, colliding, leaving me bruised and bitter.

The best days are when I can invite Grief to walk along the beach with me. We use the time to acknowledge one another, to talk and to weep, to listen to the water and birdsong, to wet our feet in the cold awakening water. Eventually when we return home, we have found a companionable silence, which I carry with me into the busy-ness of the day.

Beach - Phillip Island

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