By Mollie Campbell
Grief is life’s biggest hardship, the new terrain we find ourselves in is so foreign and distant, yet here we stand, forced to create a new life there. In this alternate world, you no longer see your loved one in front of you, a brutal reminder that our time here is short. Unable to find your identity whilst the waves of sorrow wash around you, trying with everything inside of you to feel your loved one standing next to you, or hugging you whilst you sleep.
Grief is like a shadow, at first it appears to you as an embodiment of your desolation, your anguish, a clear mirror reflection of your pain. It will follow your every move, as shadows do, but with intense personification of the grief for the life you once knew. It remains when the light is no longer shining, in the middle of the night, when the boundary between dream and nightmare becomes distorted. Or during that first light of day, when your eyelids part with an immense heaviness, another awakening into your new reality. It stays with you whilst you talk to friends in coffee shops, stands within the eye line of a stranger’s nod, watches and waits for a moment of relief, ready to pounce, in spite of your numbness and denial.
But time goes by, and whilst the shadow remains in constant sight, the edges will numb, grief will no longer set out to vanquish your happy spirals of light. The contour will continue to evoke your pain, for the life you could have lived, the feeble nature of our existence, our own mortality. The dark shadow will always endure, but the intense reminders shall start to shift, to morph, to change. You will start to feel light once more, you will see the vibrant colours painted in each day, you will hear laughter again, you will find joy in things as you did before, within the calming stillness of a tranquil morning, the suspended glide of a bird in flight, or in the sun as it continues to rise and fall with each eternal breath it takes.
Poem: Grief in a shadow
By Mollie Campbell
Grief is walking behind me
Tied to the laces of my shoes
Tapping on my shoulder
Lurking in corners of shadow blue.
Grief is silent
Yet it deafens me greatly
Whirling around my body
Making my vision distorted and hazy.
But it shall start to melt
Filter out my pain
Though it never fades away
It no longer has the power to hold the reins.
As I finally remember not what is gone
Instead, I see the beauty of existence
And all the joy we ever felt
Waiting in the distance.
You are swirling within the orange clouds of a brand new dawn
Your laugh is floating through my deafened ears
Your warmth sits within these gaps of stillness
As your tender hands wipe away my tears.