Shadow of Grief

It’s a cool December day. I stand on the beach staring at the sun. I feel the warmth of the sunlight on my face. Behind me, the wave is building. It crashes onto the shore. My shadow hides it and I cannot see it, yet I am aware of its existence. I choose to ignore it and focus on the warmth that kisses my face.

The waves become rhythmic and I feel the vibration in my chest. As the vibration gets stronger, it becomes difficult to ignore. A drop of pain escapes from the corner of my eye and rolls down my cheek. I lift my head higher begging the light to erase this pain. But I know the impossibility of this as it engrained in every cell of my body. 

Pain is now a part of me. At times it is easily forgotten, yet it is never gone. Nothing can alter this path of heartache. In order to recede it, I know I must feel it, yet I refuse the confrontation. Not today… 

I walk away, facing the light. I leave the waves in my shadow.

Avoiding the waves causes them to build stronger. A storm is developing. The longer it goes ignored, the harder the rain will fall. But I simply don’t have the energy to battle this today.

The light brings the illusion of peace. This path is easier to walk. But the darkness will only fade when you shine the light upon it.

 * * *

Today I choose to be strong so that I can prepare for Christmas. I’ve postponed it long enough and time is running out. It’s amazing how many ways we can procrastinate when facing something head on is so painful. But I choose to put my son first. I will risk fighting a bigger storm later and do what needs to be done so that I don’t let him down. 

No one knows the battle within me; I hide it so well. This mask isn’t meant to be deceiving, it’s meant to protect me. Under the skin of every grieving mother is pain that never goes away. Holidays have a way of making that pain surface. This is our reality. 


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