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Grieving Before Death

They don’t tell you how hard you grieve before someone passes.

How impending death eats at your body until you are skin and bones and hollow eyes.

Exhaustion vanishes into adrenaline;

Appetite into panic.

How some days even just breathing takes up all your energy and all you can muster is laying in the bed looking at the ceiling.

How the things you do to take the edge off only create space for you to feel the sorrow that has been living in your body but hushed by the disorientation of watching someone you love fade into the cosmos

They don’t tell you that you won’t recognize yourself through the process: your strength, your fragility, your avoidance, your fear, your attachment, your detachment, your anger, your peace, your everything feeling like something that comes from a stranger animating your body.

But somehow you still move because the world doesn’t stop. And most often you are fully present with the living, doing the living people things like laughing and working and relationshipping. This is just some thing that is happening in the background until the phone rings or you catch a memory or sit down and have a chance to breathe.

And you wonder what could possibly be worse than this and the only answer you can come up with is nothing.


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