When I was finally able to read again after Adrian’s death (and side note—wtf with grief brain and not being able to focus on reading!), I found myself gravitating towards the books of my childhood. I don’t have any better way to describe it than that it felt a bit like going “home.”
And so I picked up an old series I had loved in middle school, and I devoured it, but gently, savoring the sweetness…Until I got to a part I hadn’t remembered from before; a part that talked about death. And I could see, now, from the perspective of the After, that this author had gotten it all wrong.
Because in her mind, being sad someone was dead was considered “dwelling,” and it wasn’t useful, ever. And honestly, this was hurtful to me.
It was hurtful, and it makes me wonder more and more about our grief-averse culture, and how we try to rush everyone to the finish line; that place where things are just happy, and our loved ones are remembered only with smiles and upbeat feelings—And where somehow, dwelling is considered a weakness?
If being sad about a death is “dwelling”—
I’ll take my dwelling, and wear it proudly.
I’ll hold my memories, heavy and sweet.
I’ll honor the life lived far too briefly;
That life so very dear to me.
If this is dwelling, I am master at it,
Though it feels far more like power to me.