Grief As a Backpack
By Angela Miller
People seem to think the ache of missing our children would become more bearable over time. It doesn’t. In fact, some of my days now are more painful as the years go on, because I’m further and further since I last held my son safely in my arms. You’d think after all this time I’d be less caught off guard when I think of my son and I suddenly cannot breathe. I’m not. It doesn’t get easier to choke on air. It doesn’t get easier to live without a huge piece of your heart.
Over time I think we learn how to put grief in a backpack. Sometime it stays where we put it. And sometimes it’s impossible to put in its place, and it simply crushes us, and we let it weigh heavily on us until it eventually feels lighter again and we’re able to crawl out from underneath it. Then we take a few deep breaths and keep putting one foot in front of the other. And we hobble along (maybe sometimes we skip or run), until grief sneakily hides around a corner and trips us again when we least expect it.
This is the dance of grief.
Angela is also the author of