No one would ever be able to see it coming. You’d think after your long term lodger anxiety moved in you wouldn’t have any more room for unwanted but persistent houseguests.

Then grief moved in.

Grief arrives in a tidal wave, one that is stronger and more ferocious than the steady prickling of other emotions. It consumes you, drains the life out of you and weighs you down.

Life moves on in a blurry haze. You barely acknowledge people, daily tasks are just a fuzz of necessity and a ways to look like you’re functioning. It takes all your willpower and mental strength to pass off as just mildly getting through the next day, and the next, and the next.

Grief turns you inside out. You trap your emotions, shove them in a box and lock it with an imaginary key. How would anyone understand what you’re personally going through? It’s too personal, therefore it’s not worth even worrying people in the first place. Friends message you and you brush it off. Family offer their condolences and you thank them breezily, as if it’s water off a duck’s back when in fact the water is drowning the duck and the the duck is you.

You’re drowned not only in grief, but in the past. Memories surface, and although you’ve only got a couple of decades worth of them they’re so potent and impactful that although they were once treasured now trigger a fresh wave of sadness. Maybe they can be cherished again, over time.

Maybe one day they can resurface without grief interfering. Maybe one day you’ll be able to open up to the people you care about again, instead of in bursts of helplessness and desperation. Maybe you’ll stop feeling less erratic, and instead you’ll remember how she would have wanted you to move on, and keep going. She wouldn’t have wanted you to let your life shudder to a halt, because she was 78 and you are only 20.

Maybe, there’s hope, but for now, allow me to introduce you to my grief.

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