Grief is a Carnival you never want to enter. Its sign, flickering afar, with its dark, lonely, depressing cadence. Catching your eye every now and then as you journey through, skirting its borders. It fills you with fear. Not excitement. Not in mysterious wonder. Your belly will not fill with cotton candy joy as you near its gates. Nope. Its ill-lighted rides shift and groan in the distance. Shadows hang heavy, obscuring shapes. It is not a place for play, for happiness. And you pray and pray you will never have to go. And you take extra care to not ever cross its path. To keep it miles away as you travel through your life.

But, the great lottery has pulled your name, and you realize with horror, your in line. You have no choice. Your in, Grief.

Darkened shapes shift pass you, shuffling slow, the people you read about who have suffered great tragedy, are now in front of you, standing behind you, shuffling in step with your own as you move. You cry out “Why!? Why me??” your questions rise above you, no answers come only cries from other grieving souls echoing the same questions. The distant wailing a deafening hum amidst the groans of turning wheels and over-worked cogs and gears.

I find myself being shuffled onto the Grief-go-round. The days repeating, waking, crying, round and round, you feel sick, you have no energy to get off when it slows down. Flowers being delivered, flowers dying. Casseroles offered, so you do not have to cook. You cannot think, you cannot move. You can only go, round and round, your life on repeat. You do not want to get off, you do not want to move on from the loss. Moving on means, to leave behind the joy you once had. The memories of your loved ones, the place they once shared with you. This awful guilt settles over you, like scratchy wool. And it hisses and toys with your emotions as it tangles round your weakened limbs. It Convinces you that you are not allowed joy.

Round and round. Until one day. And your not sure when, but suddenly there is just no room there anymore for you. Guilt does not have the same power it once had. And you elbow your way through. You have just enough strength, and your not sure where it is coming from. But, you make your way off. And there you are, still in Grief, but shuffling onto the next attraction.

Welcome to the great, Emotional Roller Coaster.

The highs and lows of my days has me feeling I can get there, to happiness. It can be attainable, one day. The lows remind me, it will take time. I feel like I am going to be here for awhile. I do not want to get comfortable. I just want to survive it.

I am reading through a book called “The Smell Of Rain On Dust” by Martin Prechtel. A counselor offered it to me. I cannot say I really enjoyed the book. But there is something I did take away from it.

“Grief is praise, because it is the natural way love honors what it misses” pg 31

I praise my son with my tears, I miss him because I love him. I will not rush through this, and I will not carry guilt. This will take time, and I am okay with that.

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