It’s true. The world does not pause while you grieve. It doesn’t even shift to a lower gear. The hours just keep passing, as though your heart isn’t breaking once again.
There are so many things one must do. You still have to eat and sleep. Pay bills and get the oil changed in the car.
The trees keep leafing out. Little green nodules bud out on all the branches. Nature seems to come alive again after a long and peaceful sleep.
Life Goes On:
Wars keep waging. Soldiers keep dying.
Children in various parts of the world keep starving.
Holidays keep rolling around. New Years’ and then Valentine’s Day and Easter. Memorial and Labor Day. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and finally Christmas.
You see, it doesn’t matter that your heart has been broken into a million pieces. You’re supposed to gather the shards around you so that no one else will be touched by them.
Because our culture is not tolerant of grief.
Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) has been included as a new mental health disorder in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases.
Researchers study diagnostic algorithms, the time between death and months of significant impairment. As though the time matters. Grief is still grief. Loss is still a loss.
Everyone wants a timetable for your sadness. They want you to hurry up and stop grieving and close this chapter of your book.
You get through an hour, then a day, and finally a week. One week ago tonight was when my grief began manifesting itself.
Three Pets In Less Than Four Years:
I’ve lost 3 pets in less than 4 years. And cried for hours and felt like I’m withering up inside.
I’ve faced the world a little at a time because my emotions are unpredictable.
I could be looking at plants at the nursery and tear up. I’ll turn and walk away because no one wants to see evidence of your sorrow. It isn’t acceptable.
The day begins when the sun rises and then hours later the sky grows dark. Stars sparkle from the black velvet blanket overhead as they always do, night after night.
People start planting their gardens and trimming their yards. Lawnmowers begin to appear in garages. Families plan barbecues and get-togethers with neighbors.
Time just keeps going while I am grief-stricken and tears run unchecked down my cheeks.
The World Doesn’t Pause While You Grieve:
The world does not pause while you grieve. You may be emotionally stuck at that moment when you found your loved one no longer breathing. That is yours alone and something you cannot share.
It is fixed in your mind, glued there as if you’ll never see past it.
Planes keep lifting off. Trains keep moving down the track. Pile-ups keep happening on the interstate.
Babies keep being born. Wailing their way into the world out of the darkness of their mother’s safe womb, red-faced and fists shaking.
It was one of my first thoughts this morning when I woke up. The reminder that the world does not stop while you grieve. Not even for a second so you can try to catch your breath.
There is no merciful delay while you seek a way to soften the loss that is sharp edges of glass piercing your skin.
No interlude as you try to find your way.
There is no comma after the sentence to allow for a temporary rest.
Because no matter what, the world does not pause while you grieve.