I got into a conversation with the woman sitting at the table next to us at Beef & Beans, a summer event of American awesomeness at our local grange.
I had never met her before, but Mikey told me that her husband did the wiring for our addition, before Dana left.
“I liked what you wrote about Dana and the waterfall,” she said. “Huh?” I stuttered, kind of unable to wrap my head around the fact that it seemed like this woman whom I didn’t know, not only knew Dana, but had read that post I wrote about him and I playing in the waterfall by our house in Fiji.
And then in the weird way that grief has, it hit me like a fucking sledgehammer – Dana being gone, all of the memories of playing with him there at that waterfall, and just.. everything.
I dug my fingers into my legs to pinch them hard enough to stop from ugly-crying.
I was digging hard into my flesh, so hard that my eyes watered just from the pain, but that knot in my throat would not budge. The delicate seams that hold my heart together would not stop quivering in their threat to break open.
Grief. It’s not spoken of nearly enough, grief is so hard and so constant; numbing, cutting, crushing. Life-changing.
I’m so fucking ready for this to be over.
I’m so ready to wake up and have it all be a horrific nightmare, ready to turn to Dana and say to him as I do in my dreams, “Dana! You won’t believe this, but you DIED and it was awful!” He’d laugh and shake his head (like, “man, you are so crazy, Meriah“) and go looking for something to do, everything would be right, all right, so right.
Instead, I only have two choices: sink with grief, or allow it to propel me. I don’t really like either.
I didn’t mean for this post to be about grief.
I meant for it to be about photos and looking back from our first Beef & Beans to this. Grief doesn’t make sense though, it’s not linear nor is it sensible. It follows no rhythms except the ones it lays stake upon, fit of its own painful fancy.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.