In Her Time of Dying: Dear Grief

Dear Grief,

They tell me that you are normal and necessary. They tell me that you won’t last as you are forever; that you will always be a part of me but will become softer and less surprising.

I’m here to tell you that I hate you. I hate what you’ve done to me. I hate the way you make me feel. I hate that it feels like you’ve stolen my brain. I’m a smart person. I’m a multi-tasker and a problem-solver. I am efficient, I am capable, and you have turned me into a complete mess; someone I don’t recognize. It’s become impossible for me to retain more than a few bits of information at a time. You’ve infiltrated my mind so thoroughly that when someone presents more than a few questions at once, or a task more complicated than a step or two, it makes me break down into tears because the sheer effort I have to put into it is overwhelming.

That’s not me, Grief. I’m not usually like that and it pisses me off that you’ve made me that way. I don’t like feeling out of control. I don’t like the way you hibernate inside of me, waiting for the right moment to stir from your slumber and wind your way around my heart and soul, squeezing just enough to make it hurt but not enough to kill me. You surprised me, Grief, because I didn’t think I’d feel you this strongly. I always assumed that the bad relationship I had with my mother would smother you somewhat; that your white-hot flame that scalded others who didn’t have such a bad relationship would just make me mildly uncomfortable. But I was wrong. Sometimes I think that my complicated relationship with her made you stronger and harder to quelch; that somehow the indifference, dislike, irritation, love, hurt, and pain that I felt for my mother combined into something that acted like oxygen to you, making you bigger and stronger. Hungrier.

I hate you. I don’t care if you are necessary and a part of it all. I don’t like feeling you and I want you to go away. I started talking to someone the other day,  a counselor that specializes in dealing with you. She’s going to help me weaken you and get you under control. With her help and the support and love of my husband, daughter, friends and family, your power over me will slowly fade. Your flames won’t burn and cause so much pain.

Your hold on me is temporary, Grief. I promise you that.