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The thing about grief is, it hurts.

It hurts so much that you feel it physically… in your stomach, your chest, your arms, your legs… your face.  You feel deep, lacerating pain, in such a way that it eventually exhausts you.  Drains you.  Leaves you lifeless.  Numb.

Nonna and I.

The thing about grief is, it rekindles.

From a picture.  Or a song.  A smell. From a breeze, or the sun kissing your cheek.  From a memory.

And the pain starts again. The desperate clawing pain.  Desperate for reprieve.  Desperate for quiet.  Desperate for sleep.

The thing about grief is, you wake up.

And start all over again.

Pain. Numb. Sleep. ~ Pain. Numb. Sleep…..

Nonna and I..and my oldest daughter peeking over.

The thing about grief is, it’s so frustrating.

Why? Why does this happen? Why so much pain? Why God? Why? Why?

The thing about grief is, it makes you mad.

You take it out on others.  No one really understands, right?  And then you feel guilty.  Because, even though it is alright to be angry, it is not ok to take it out on others.  Hopefully they will forgive you though..

The thing about grief is, it sneaks up on you.

When you are pushing your daughter on a swing, with a sweet smile and far away thoughts…to be interrupted by the pain.  The irritating, exhausting pain.

When you are baking a pie with your oldest daughter, laughing about comments that she keeps making about how it will taste…to be interrupted by a similar memory..with someone else…that invokes the pain.  The irritating, exhausting pain.

My dad, nonna and I.

The thing about grief is, it will get better.

The sound of your one-year old’s laugh. The feeling of your two-year old’s arms around your neck.

Your husband stroking your hair and not trying to ‘fix’ it.

Your ten-year old getting you a heating pad… for your back, because you know, with grief comes aches and pains in places you wish weren’t so old acting.

The thing about grief is, we don’t get to choose.

Your dad tells you it is time for her to go, that God is calling her home, and that he will be ok.  Which is so very important.

Your aunt puts the phone to her ear so that you can tell her you love her, one more time, before she dies.

My nonna and I.

The thing about grief is, we all experience it.

And we love through it. We live through it.

I know that is it time for my nonna to go. I know she is being called home.  That she wants to go home.

I am so grateful for my time, for my lessons, for the love…of my nonna.

I just wish it didn’t hurt so damn much.

That is the thing about grief.

My nonna and I.