There are so many twists and turns along the grief pathway. I wrote this two and a half years after my husband died. I was just beginning to feel hopeful again. Today I am six and a half years past Ken's death. I am here to report that I have rediscovered happiness, something I never thought would be possible. I wish the same for every widow and widower.
Grief and hope try to be friends, but it isn't easy. Grief pulls back, gets scared, loses its mind in the past. Hope moves forward quickly, not even imagining all the trouble that might lie in wait up ahead. Hope is full of energy. Hope wants to branch out, try something new, get out and get going.
Grief takes a big long nap and is grateful for the quiet. Grief needs to lose weight and feels too heavy to get up and start all over again. Grief holds on tight to what is known. Grief demands an accounting of all that's been lost for fear that it will disappear altogether.
Hope says, "Fine, let it all come along for the ride. There's plenty of room. All are welcome here."
Grief wants very badly to believe that Hope can be trusted. Can they really co-exist? If they get together, will they be betraying anyone else?
Hope sings, voices echoing into the future, moving with confidence into unknown territory. Grief mutters in the background. Grief is simply exhausted and needs something to lean on.
"Lean on me", says Hope. I will always be outside your door and if you let me I will help you. It's what I'm here to do.
Grief rests her head on the pillow and pulls the covers up under her chin. She closes her eyes, invigorated by the darkness. She could stay here forever imagining how it used to be, how it could have been, how everything is alien now.
Hope sits on the screened front porch basking in the filtered warm sun, holding a cup of tea. Grief lumbers in, squints uncomfortably in the light. but takes a seat anyway.
"This feels like a good beginning for us," says Grief.
"No hurry," says Hope. "We can get up whenever you're ready to go."