• Ashley

Grief - I'm Doing My Best

I'm doing the best I can.

I don't know how to do this any differently. You assign strong or weak - healthy or unhealthy - sane or crazy - not enough or too much - intact or broken.

I reject that. I am not either-or. I am everything all at once. And all of it is my best.

You give me a time frame for my grief. "You have ___ long to be sad. After that, keep it to yourself".

You avoid the conversation. Maybe if we don't talk about it, it'll be less awkward. For you? For me? For you.

You want to know the truth. But you actually don't. Because my truth might not be that I'm OK and you don't know what to do with that. I might not be OK in that moment.

You want me to focus on the positives. And I do. That's how I breathe from one moment to the next. Yet, at times, something blocks my breath. Co-existing with all the reasons for me to be happy are all the reasons I'm hurting. Sometimes those reasons are suffocating. I can ignore them or I can acknowledge. It's my choice. But we all know ignoring won't help for long.

You want me to be rational. Rationality will make everything better. Rationality is hard, though, when the world doesn't make sense. When what you expected your life to be - what you were told your life would be - is taken from you. How can one be rational in a world that's unimaginable? A world where the data doesn't compute? Where the math doesn't add up? Where up is down and down is up?

You want me to carry on. I thought I'd be carrying something, but carrying on is not it. I thought I'd be carrying a life but instead I'm holding emptiness. And I need to feel that, because it's the truth. Maybe not forever but it's my truth right now.

So please don't pile your expectations and expect me to do something with them. I'm already holding more than I thought possible. Doing the best I can.

* this is a writing to the general "You". A message about the way we, as a society, do grief. It is not directed at any 1 person. Just keep in mind that any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental

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