When Grief Stopped By To Visit…

She first noticed Grief when he peered through her window, but she didn’t dare let him inside. She’d already lived such a long time with Shock and Denial and Anger and Sadness. By now they were dull, but familiar, and she was comfortable with that arrangement.

So she let Grief wait outside for a very long time, barely casting glances in his direction. And he waited there patiently, with understanding. Grief had plenty of time.

To tell the truth, she was so afraid to let him in. Grief was surely the last of the guests. What if she welcomed him in and he stayed forever? What if she opened her door and he just passed on through, like she didn’t matter to him at all? What if Grief triggered the others? Pushed their buttons?

So she left him at the window.

But he knew it was time, so he called her name. And offered to carry her guilt and her shame. He promised the purest intent.

“Remember,” he told her gently, “I’m simply what’s left of a shared love. A big love. You’re meant to experience me fully. I’ll be tender with your heart.”

When she finally met with Grief at her door, he smiled warmly and she embraced him. As it turned out, Grief was a very dear friend. He stayed with her when she felt alone, and he comforted her when she cried. Sometimes, she’d let him sing his songs… the ones she’d remember him by. Sometimes the others would join them, but Grief seemed to temper them all and quiet them down.

And then, at last, it was time for them to go.

And she knew that meant it was also time for her to welcome old friends home.

Hope came first, and reminded her to leave ample room for Joy.

Now Grief was the last to leave. He had to make sure Hope would arrive, and then he knew for certain it was time. He promised to return now and then, sometimes with Sadness, maybe even Anger. But most of the time, he’d come on his own, to co-exist with Hope and with Joy.

And until his return, he had one more surprise — a friend she could deeply cherish.


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