The Problem with Grief

Life plays out like a tragedy. In the end, we all die. The journey plays out like a novel, written by the hand of the indelible gods; the entropy of our lives resolved by eternal slumber. Those who remain alive, left behind by those they loved and have risen to the heavens, have to deal with the aftermath of their sudden departure. Even when you know they have prepared to pay Charon for a ride across the river Styx, you will never be truly ready to see them leave. The baggage they carry is much lighter than the one still in your care.

Putting an emotional facade can become a challenge if you are not feeling regret or sorrow. When you work as hard as I do to keep in touch with friends and family to be apprised of their lives, you don’t tend to miss them until months or years after they are gone. That’s why a funeral can be both a curse and a blessing. You are not ready to say goodbye forever so quickly after their journey ended. As long as you keep them alive in your thoughts and memories there will be no need to mourn. Eternal they become until the day death comes for you too.

We all grieve in different ways. No way is more important or deeper, or more heart breaking. A loss is devastating for good reason, because it creates a void that stays latent until the day you die. Nothing can fill it, only assuage it, and we aren’t taught to understand the difference; we must learn it. All the unknowns remain unknown, and the secrets are taken to the grave. The person you knew is everything and nothing at the same tame. The many version of themselves colliding into one clear person, defined by death, and buried with honors. Everyone is good and loved the day they are summoned to the great beyond.

No one’s way to grieve is erroneous. Reconciling styles between friends and family can result in a powder keg of raw emotion and instability. How much time is enough time to mourn? I dare not say. For there is no need to rush catharsis, not one event that will help you pull the pieces of your broken heart together. You just wait, and stew and brood, until the heavens see fit to remove the burden, to impart the lesson that will make the loss seem like a blessing. We give meaning to the things that have no meaning, and we struggle to determine if the lesson was good enough to merit the formalities of saying goodbye forever.

We bury the living, we keep alive the dead. The irony as inescapable as the weight on our shoulders. Love more. Judge less harshly. Make sure that you balance the work and life equation to your advantage. We only get what chance at life, make the most of it. Don’t let others tell you what to feel, or how to act. Only you know the proper way to heal your wounds and surrender to the grace of the gods.

See you all in Valhalla, my beloved warriors.

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