When Grief comes again

 photo by  Lauren Rushing

When Grief comes again
you know.

You know not to argue.
Your "it’s nothing"s and your
"there wasn't that much there anyway"s
Are useless.
You can’t fool Grief—
Love’s sharpest mirror,
Dead star’s brightest light.
No less real because its source is gone.
Maybe all the more precious for it.

When Grief comes again
It doesn’t knock.
Why would it—it didn’t before.
It will not knock,
It never knocks—note to self,
For next time.
Even now you know
there will be a next time.

When Grief comes again
You know it brings work.
That’s unfair—you are tired already.
So tired.
Yet you do it,
Because Grief says it must be done.
Exhausting, inexhaustible work.
Bone-crushing sadness and
Soul-piercing beauty.
Acknowledging.

When Grief comes again
You make tea.
Or wish longingly that you had it in you to make the tea.
You don’t try to chase it away
(as if that would ever work).
You make room.
Because

When Grief comes again
You know the name of Grief’s own heart—

Compassion.

Have you experienced grief differently since the death of your child(ren)? Have you encountered major grief before the death of your child(ren)? Have your feelings about grief changed over time?