Thursday, March 18, 2010

Grief, and the beauty therein~

Grief is a love word.

I ran into someone yesterday who I haven't seen in over 18 years...a someone with whom I carry a sad and unresolved issue from our teens.  An issue which had life changing implications and shaped me profoundly.   We've done a marvelous job of avoiding each other, and on the rare occasion when I did see him at a distance we'd sort of nod and go our seperate ways.   I have wanted to have a long conversation with this person for some time, but neither of us were able.   Yesterday, by the queerest chance imaginable I saw him, and while I was prepared to "nod and run"- he actually called me out...and wonder of wonders- even hugged me.

For a moment I stood in front of him almost speechless.   An agonizing heartbreak of 24 years sped to the surface with the force of a missle, or projectile of some, warped, hot, and pushing forward, up out of the depths of me.   I assumed that kind of depth only existed in outer space and I was stunned to discover how that sort of space could exist in me.   I can not fully express what it was like.

We spoke in general terms, and yet at one point I saw tears in his eyes when he expressed a personal thought.  He made a confession.  He asked me to stay in touch with him.  It was like I was talking to a completely different man.   I guess time and the Marine Corp will do that to a person.   Grief changed me. A grief so deep and wide it nearly swallowed me whole- so very long ago.

In the span of 12 minutes, standing in a grocery store, a long overdue healing process had begun.  

I felt waves of grief wash over me.  Loss, hurt, suffering, guilt, shame, remorse...those things were there too, but above all was grief, but more importantly, it was a shared grief.   Suddenly the burden, the secret sack of shit I've carried for so many years alone, was lifted, and shared.  

The beauty of grief is that it's devoid of hate.  We don't grieve over things we loathe, only over the things we love.  Hate would have stunted my growth.  Hate would have made the things I suffered in vain.  Hate would have kept me silent when I needed to speak out and help others who found themselves in my same situation.   Hate would have turned on me and eaten me from the inside out.
Love allowed me to slowly recover. 
Love for myself, and inspite of myself.

Grief and love, v/s Hate and apathy-
It's good to know, after all of these years, I chose wisely.