The thing about grief, is that it’s odd and unpredictable.
It shows up at surprising times, long after you thought you had said your last goodbye. After the numbness and the denial has gone, after your eyelids are no longer heavy with the weight of tears, once your shoulders have begun to straighten, it finds you again.
It pops up in unexpected places. When you’re standing in the cereal aisle of the grocery store. During your commute home. On your morning jog at 6 am, it comes back to you in a wave of sadness that washes over you from the tip of your head down to the bottom of your feet.
Went back to bed this morning
And as I'm pullin' down the blind
Yeah, the sky was dull and hypothetical
And fallin' one cloud at a time
My grief is for my friend, Corey. Yours may be, too. Or yours may be for your mother, your father, your husband or wife. For yourself.
Corey. His is a story that we hear all too often—someone loved by many, taken away much too soon, much too young, and happening unexpectedly. Corey. Leaving behind a wife and two young daughters, a mother, a brother, sisters-in-law, best friends, teammates, coworkers, high school friends. All who loved him in our own unique ways.
And just when I thought I had cried every last tear I had, blubbering embarrassingly at his Celebration of Life to his wife and his mother, the sadness finds me again. The sadness, I suppose, never really left. The initial shock has settled, and routines are back in place, school has started, activities and work are underway. Yet, I’m still waiting for the grief to scatter like smoke.
Drove back to town this morning
With working on my mind
I thought of maybe quittin'
Thought of leavin' it behind
Maybe that’s the point of grief. Maybe grief wants us to remember that Corey was funny. That he was a smart ass, always quick with a one-liner that made everyone laugh. That he cared about his friends and he brought us all together. That he loved his daughters and wife. That he was a good son and brother.
It was in Bobcaygeon, I saw the constellations
Reveal themselves, one star at time
Maybe grief is worried we’ll forget him one day. The way he laughed. The way he would saunter from the cottage to the beach in Bobcaygeon every summer. The way he called his daughters’ names. The way he joked with his friends and talked to his family.
The thing about grief, too, is that I feel guilty for having so much of it, sometimes. I didn’t lose as much as others did—his wife, his daughters, his family. Who am I to cry so many tears? Why do I think I have that right?
But the thing about grief, is that it makes us human. It reminds us to be human. To hug and forgive and share. To not work too hard, to eat the ice cream, to let your kid sleep in your bed, to find love, to see your friends more often. It reminds us to stop and look up at the stars and see what we might find in the sky.
'Cause, it was in Bobcaygeon
Where I saw the constellations reveal themselves
One star at time
I think Corey would want us to remember that.