On Grief.

It has been 2 days now. Why is time doing this? Why are the days furiously marching on? You were here on Saturday, and then Sunday cruelly arrived and left you behind, left you on Saturday. Why did you do that, Sunday? Why couldn’t we have stayed on Friday a bit longer? I finally fell to sleep yesterday, but when I woke up I found Monday was here. Fucking Monday. Monday belligerently shoved itself in my face, taking me even further away from Saturday, and Friday, and Thursday, and all the days before that which had you in them. Monday is a stubborn, uninvited guest, sitting squarely in front of me and demanding my attention. Fuck off Monday! I don’t want you and I don’t want any other days to come. I want the days I had. You were 25, you deserve the rest of your days. Why can’t time just pause for a minute and let me make some sense of this?

Grief is a jester, pranking me, tricking me. The last time Grief visited like this was 4 years ago, My Dad comforted me by telling me the sun would rise again tomorrow. Grief came to him early too, and he confronted you, and he learned to address you. The sun will rise again tomorrow. Life would go on, a new day would dawn, all things must pass. And so my father taught me how to deal with you. Except Grief pranked us, that’s not how it works at all. Grief laughs in our face, fools us twice. Those thoughts are not comforting now. The sun will rise again tomorrow. It’s terrifying. It’s like a curse. Why? Why does the sun have to rise? Why can’t it go back? And if we can’t go back, can we just stay here for a bit? How can this pass? How can I live the rest of my life without you?

Grief is a director, and we are it’s unwilling ensemble cast. Grief forces us to re-run our lines, find a new way of spreading the news, rehash the same scene over and over. Grief forces us into weird role-playing exercises where we constantly change character. Steph told me on the phone, and I gaped and swore back at her, disbelieving. A few hours later I told Danilo, Emily, Ariane, all the wolves. It was my turn to be stoic and matter of fact whilst they swore back at me. I called Will and cried at him, he offered some comforting words. Earlier he had been the one crying down the phone at Dan. Yesterday I saw Tim, I became hysterical and he hugged me. 45 minutes later and the roles were reversed. Grief is a hall of mirrors. I tried to keep it together and talk about you, and celebrate you, and tell all those poor people who didn’t know you why you were so incredible. My heart goes out to them; they will never know you. They have no memories to cherish. That seems worse. At the end of the night we locked up the building and then all of us wolves stood in a circle, me weeping in the middle. We stayed like that for a long time.

I’ve been trying to distract myself. Yesterday I cooked your favourite curry; that was a solid two hours because cooking curry is like breathing to me and I could just cook without thinking or speaking or saying or remembering. I made a list of everyone I needed to call, and then I had the task of calling them all, and I like lists and I like having tasks to complete. But then it was done and I had nothing to distract me anymore.

Grief goes straight for the jugular. On Saturday I felt like my heart was wilting, like my heart was being drained of all life and slowly fading into nothingness. I thought, well, my heart is giving up, at least I won’t have to feel like this much longer. But no. My stupid heart has kept me here without you. All of us are orbiting different spaces, except they are also the same. Grief is like a slow toxic poison, it does not strike us together, it seeps between us. We display different symptoms at different times and we’re aware of the sensation without any cure to offer each other. I feel like I want to reach out to everybody else in our gang and just talk constantly and be near them. Some people feel like being alone and hiding away and I feel like I can’t be alone, I have to be together. I have to be constantly in contact to be sure everybody else is still here and feeling like this. So. Where does that leave us? Grief wrenches us apart and then tries to throw us together haphazardly. Grief is manipulative, a cold-hearted bitch, delighting in our awkwardness. Why so much vengeance, Grief?

Grief attacks physically. It is a skilled hunter, sparing no part of me. My brain feels slow and dulled, my limbs seem heavy, my body is cumbersome. A burden. How am I meant to lift my head and walk around and be active? My stupid voice. I sang and talked and even laughed yesterday when we were remembering you, and now it feels cold and shrivelled, a rotting animal in my stomach. I may never sing again. My eyes see less, they just blur and prickle and cry all the time. They play tricks on me; I saw you walking into the percussion room or received a text from you, except it was somebody else and I misread the name. Stupid eyes. What use are they? I am so short-sighted anyway.

Grief has stalled me. My mind is broken, memories are just flashing up randomly, rudely, disrupting me when I am trying to text and call and cancel lessons and tell people where I live and ask for help and I just sit there wondering what I was doing. Two days feels like a desert where I lost myself. Stalling, suffocating. Seeking a mirage, except that is the worst kind of hope and actually not hope at all but a fucking ordeal. Fuck it.

26 thoughts on “On Grief.

  1. Caitlin says:

    I’m so sorry that you’ve had to experience such a huge loss – multiple in this year, in fact. I can only imagine how difficult it must be. I hope that, as you move forward, as the sun rises, you make peace with Grief and you are able to find solace in singing again, so you can sing for the people you lost and create for them and in all the things you do, help share them with the people like me who weren’t lucky enough to know them. All the best during this time, sending love from across the pond.


  2. Candy says:

    I am so sorry to hear that you’re having to grieve. I wish we had the power to take nasty feelings from other people to give them some respite. This is a beautiful piece of writing, and I hope that it has been cathartic to write. I’m sending many virtual hugs and tea and other nice things. xx


  3. Denise says:

    I can’t or don’t want to comment on this very much, dear Laila, because of personal reasons that make me cry – and I fought so much to be at the state I am, not crying everyday for some months. But I can say I agree with you on all you wrote – from paragraph 4 on even more. Well written as usual, and right to the point – some open wounds that I try to cover by making people think I am “the extravagant one on the block”, so that I don’t bore or contaminate their world with my grief. I thank you for this post, Laila, really :) denisesplanet.com


  4. Isa Dione says:

    I struggle to find appropriate words to your heartwrenching post. All I can say is that I hope you can carry the load and find a way to get through this to the other side. I am glad you wrote this, it made me think about my grandfather who I’ve lost two years ago and how I still cherish the memories of him. It hurts, of course. But when the hurt is gone, one can only hope that they find peace wherever they are :(


  5. Kim says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you have recently lost someone. I think like you said in a previous post it’s important to surround yourself with things that make you happy, and try to focus on the good memories you have. I’ve found that working on projects as a way to remember people helps, like when my grandfather passed away I made a quilt out of his old shirts.
    You are very creative…. let that gift ease your pain <3


  6. jessthetics says:

    Laila, this is awful. I wish I had some wisdom to offer you. I’m so so sorry for your loss, and for your pain, and for all the grief. This post is so honest and achingly beautifully written. I’m so sorry that you lost your friend and I hope that you feel better over time. I’m sending all my love to you and everyone xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  7. Kerry says:

    Wow. There’s a line there that I particularly liked ‘Grief is a hall of mirrors’ but the post in all is so poignant and honest. I’m very sorry for your loss, he was and remains in my memory a great guy – I didn’t know him as well as you so if he had that influence on me Lord only knows what a great part of your life he has been. I feel terrible that you are all going through this and wish you all the best, but as a post that was amazing to read x


  8. christina says:

    I don’t know what to write, I wish i had something comforting to say :( hope as time goes by, you can smile and remember the good times and not this awful time. :( So sorry hun.This has reminded me of a song, maybe post you the link another time. Thinking of you xxxx


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