Grief’s echo

Echo, Blume Bauer 2008

I wish grief were like a hot oven; once turned off, it would cool slowly to the point of bare remembrance.

But grief is not hot. Grief is cold. Grief is like a glacier — colder than cold, and eternal. So grief sits and waits and when a thaw occurs — unexpected and terrifying — great shelves break off into the sea, and the sea is me.

Massive chunks plow my heart. I feel leaden, woozy.

Stop! (sob) Enough! (breathe) I didn’t expect this. It’s been 36 years!

Ah, but that’s exactly why it is so powerful. I’m aging, aged, mortal. I am more like those that I lost than the girl I was then.

I wish grief were like a hot oven. But grief is glacial, and for me it is permanent. The best I can hope is to overlay enough of the present upon it that I don’t feel the cold. Or maybe someday, when I am very old, it will be very small, so small that if a piece breaks off and finds my heart, it will hardly hurt at all.

10 thoughts on “Grief’s echo

  1. Again, I marvel that you aren’t a poet, or writer in the more traditional sense. Simply beautiful.

    I dreamt of my late grandfather again last night. He died over ten years ago, but it’s still raw. Your words resonate deeply. Much love to you x

  2. Thank you Joanna. You are very sweet and soothing, and courageous (and warm).

    Emma, I would love to be a writer! It is an unfulfilled dream, hence my attempts here. xo to you too. Sorry about your grandfather. Grandparents, for me, are very close attachments.

    Mary, thanks for writing. Your blog gives me the courage to express myself and showed me there was a place to put these feelings, even if it’s just for my own sanity.

  3. Diana,
    I have not been diligent of late in keeping up with the blogs that I visit regularly, so I almost missed this post, which I would have regretted.

    So beautiful. Yes, grief is glacial and hot. Some of us never get over the pain, and it intrudes when we least expect it. Thirty-six years is a long time, but in terms of grief, it is nothing. For me, it has been 22 years. Everything has changed except the one thing that defines and shapes me. I believe that it is that way for you as well.

    Take very good care. I hope that the act of putting the words on the page gave you a bit of comfort.


  4. Lita, thank you, that was very well put. “Everything has changed except the one thing that defines and shapes me.”

    And yes, it was good to put it in writing. Thanks for coming by. I have been lax this summer in keeping up with reading as well. Everyone will probably come round again in the fall.

  5. 36 years, same as me, I’ve got a glacier too. A frozen river where once a red hot, vibrant person flowed.
    You are a writer, by the way, don’t ever think you are not. I’ve just spent 30 minutes exploring your blog, following a link from Joanna. And I’ve subscribed.

  6. Linda, thank you for coming inside to read further. That makes me feel good. I’m sorry you can relate to this post yet comforted that I’m not alone.

    “Spyrogyra” ha ha. I see you like to dig when you post too. That’s a blast from the past. You are a Brit, correct? I envy you the history of your surroundings. I live in a very young place.

    And thank you for subscribing!

  7. Metaphor, simile and imagery just gushing over. Those qualities in writing and how they flavor the subject are top notch skills in my book and keep me reading even though read time is already compartmentalized with no additional room. So reading this and things like it will just have to make the other stuff wait. I like your shelves and glacier allusion. Do we have to be that frozen cold to survive our grief? But there is one consolation: people come and go in our lives and I am sure grateful that for a while they were part of mine. Yes. The 60’s. Beatles, Joan and Bob.

  8. Thanks Carl, always good to hear such flattering comments. The answer to your question, (for me) is yes. As I do with my bad back, I find an ice pack to be an effective remedy. Some grief is so thick that I fear the ground under me would collapse if it thawed completely. But to stay warm? A thick blanket of present loved ones and the promise of a future.

    I am thankful that the 60s led me into adulthood. A good education in and of itself!

    And, like you, I can’t imagine not having had Marleen and the others who’ve left too early.

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