More than Sadness

Grief is more than sadness.

Grief is loving a person so much you would give up your life for them in an instant, but never being given the option.

Grief is grappling with the fact that you couldn’t protect them and wondering if you were good enough to be what they deserved.

Grief is more than sadness – it’s the trauma of the world suddenly looking darker and scarier and wildly unpredictable.

It’s the instability of a shifting identity, strained finances, impossible decisions, rebuilding your life from scratch and wrestling with existential questions that never mattered before. What happens after death? Why am I here and they are not? What’s the purpose of it all?

Grief is more than sadness; it’s suddenly getting lost on a road you’ve driven a million times. It’s being exhausted at simple tasks like cooking a meal or taking out the trash. It’s feeling spacey and forgetful and irritable at everything. It’s being scatterbrained and disorganized and shaking your head and saying “This isn’t me! I’m not like this! Why am I like this?”

It’s wondering if your way of grieving is normal. Its wondering if anything will ever be normal again.

Grief is all the unexpected little day to day differences you couldn’t have prepared for. Switching over to saying “I” instead of “we” and using past tense verbs. It’s finding a piece of their clothing mixed in with your laundry and realizing it’s probably the last time. It’s being nervous about using items they gifted you in case they wear out. It’s having inside jokes no one else understands anymore and holding sacred moments in time that no other living person is witness to. Grief is being madly in love with someone you can’t feel or touch or see. It’s realizing there were future human beings who will never exist now because you didn’t get to have children together.

Grief is more than sadness. It’s sometimes feeling at peace and then instantly feeling guilty for it. It’s coming to a place of acceptance for a moment and then wondering if you’ve betrayed your person.

Grief is having a person who is your entire world but being forced to live as though they’re not. Grief is walking into a room existing as half of a whole but knowing others only see one person. It’s feeling like they can’t fully know you without knowing your person too, but they never will.

Grief is living with an itch that can’t ever be scratched; a constant longing never fulfilled. Grief is wondering how you can possibly survive the next 50 years. It is the horrifying realization of how few of your years will have been shared with them by time you’re old.

Grief is more than sadness – it’s having to speak for your person and represent them and wondering if you are doing them justice. Its needing to make team decisions alone. It’s wondering which of your shared dreams to pursue.

Grief is realizing how much you loved their mind – their deep thoughts and intelligent ideas – wanting to learn from them, but the library burned down.

Grief isn’t just sadness – it’s bravery. It’s waking up every morning and choosing to live in a world devoid of the person who means the most to you. It’s choosing to keep going when you want to join them.

Grief isn’t just the initial loss – it’s all the secondary losses; a domino effect. Its your declining mental health and crumbling optimism; your now-jaded outlook. Its friendships that are lost when people feel too awkward around your grief. Its a hobby you used to love that feels ruined now with no one to share it with and favorite places that just aren’t fun to visit anymore.

Grief is a permanent part of you, a jagged scar, a broken bone that wasn’t set right.

Grief is every happy moment forever penetrated by a little jab of sadness.

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