26 March 2021 – Landscape

In the Midst of Devastation—

I remember being angry when people tried to cheer me up in those early days. I didn’t know much about grief then, but I was quickly learning. I could tell, already, this wasn’t how it worked.

You don’t comfort someone’s grief by denying it exists.
Is it so hard to understand this?

And so, in those early days, I often found comfort by running away. Awkward moment? Leave the room. Want to throw things? Go outside. The trees don’t care if you cry in the midst of them. And if you want, they will shelter you.

(These gnarled arms I ran to)

In those early days, both wanting to lose weight and also hating the idea, I spent a lot of time walking—in the quiet, in the woods.

I found a swing set one day, and I just stared. How are these things real? Will joy always trigger pain?

But also the reverse—the first time I finished an entire workout, or reached 10,000 steps with minimal pain. It was the smallest version of the marathon rush of my earlier life, and it too felt unreal. Normalcy. Finding beauty inside what hurt.

Is this me?

Am I the noble victim who punishes myself back to life again?

Do I have to be?

Posts written in response to prompts from Megan Devine’s Refuge in Grief writing program.
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