Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Grey of Loss

How do you face the thought of living without a something or someone that has been a part of your daily existence for 15 years?

The grey of implacable granite, the softest grey imaginable, the bleakest grey of a pre-storm sky, the warmth of a living grey, the chill of flint grey, the softest, sweetest of greys, the grey of grief, the grey of life.

Large or small, deeply significant or a minor note - does it make a difference? Of course it does. But emotional weight is relative, right?

When I lie in bed at night, tears sliding down my face at the thought of such a loss - just its contemplation painful - without instigating a deeper reaction, I calmly know the actual loss will be impossible. Too much, too hard. No, I do not choose that path. As if I could control.

I move between calm philosophical realism to an unholdable emotion that nudges its neat cover aside. From a flat calm, because what can I do, to a reasoned calm, maybe I'm not on the brink of such a loss ... to tears surfacing because I know someday its day will come.

You probably have gone through such a loss or maybe are facing or are dreading such a loss. Of a love, a home, a parent, a pet, a job, a way of life, a friend, an irreplaceable memento, a limb, a relationship, a freedom, memory itself ... whatever it may be, what do you do? What?

Is that more intellectualizing? Or is that coping? Grasping at broken or cracked or used straws, because it's all we have in the end, when facing a devastating loss.

It's not even the first blow, although that is weighty. It's the day after day after day for the rest of your life without what you once had. Then the calm, flat rejection that implies some power, some agency you still hold, but then yields its true nature: No, I don't WANT that (palms flat on table). I don't WANT that life (hands clenched). NO (fists pound)! Childish, impulsive, true. A scream beneath the calm. A yawning disbelief at such a reality. Suddenly feeling your insubstantial size and weak humanity before the soaring grey granite wall you hit when you know absolute loss can't be bargained, reasoned, or necessarily held off. Its cold graniteness doesn't know you, feel you, acknowledge you, care about you. And that's what a loss is. Impossible, uncontrollable, terrible, uncaring, crushing.

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