Grief comes when the wind blows away something that you hold dear. You reach out, trying to grasp the beloved thing before it’s gone. You run after it, in denial, thinking you’ll manage to catch up — even though the wind blows it further and further away every second. And then it’s gone, and there’s a hole in your heart.
When grief hits, the waves crash so hard against your chest that they knock the wind out of you entirely, and suddenly you feel like you are gasping for breath. You are knocked completely out of balance, and each time you feel like you might stand up straight again, the waves come and push you right back over.
Grief makes your wings feel heavy and useless. Grief forces you to sit with it, stare it in the face, feel the way it feels. Grief is the tightness that creeps up into your throat, the warmth that fills your eyelids, the tension that tightens your brow. Grief is the fogginess in your brain, the emptiness in your heart.
Everyone meets grief at one time or another. Sometimes grief breezes by, making you feel choked up just for that one, heartbreaking moment, and then you move along with your life. And sometimes… grief gusts like a hurricane, unrelenting. The tears pour in bitter unison with what feels like an endless monsoon.
Encountering grief is hard, but it is part of what makes us human. We live, and we die. We love and we cry. The storm will end, as storms always do. It’s just a matter of time, and patience, until the waves subside. And then suddenly the sun will shine again, and your wings will feel lighter than usual, and you will find yourself taking flight, fondly remembering that thing you once held dear, wondering what it’s up to now, and if it misses you too.
And although your heart will always be missing that little piece, you’ll feel grateful anyway — for ever having had the piece at all.
In loving memory of my dear Aunt Suzie, who will always inspire me to keep using my wings, even when they feel heavy. May your wings take you to the place of peace that you deserve.