Hate is a Very Strong Word, but Love Wins
Grief is ugly, uncomfortable, and corrupt. I hate grief. I hate what it does. Hate. Hmmm...that word.
When my children were young, if I ever heard them say “hate,” I would remind them that “hate is a very strong word.” They began crafting their witty rebuttals early on: “Well, then I ‘strongly dislike X’” they would say. Unfortunately, since our loss, “hate” seems sadly appropriate. I hate grief. I hate the loss that brought the grief. I usually recognize the beauty in the world, in family members, neighbors, colleagues and friends, but today, grief is the bag I want to punch, the nail I want to hammer, and the glass I want to break. Grief is a heavy and painful burden to carry. It causes sadness and anger, but LOSS comes first: hearts race, stomachs knot, heads spin. My son is gone. Who explains the “why”? No one can. Who takes away the pain? No one can.
Why was he taken from us, from me, his father, sisters, friends, co-workers? He was amazing, smart, compassionate, and talented -- YOUNG. I didn’t set out to write about him per se, but who am I kidding: every second is about him. I walk through my day looking “normal,” but all the while thinking thoughts that most people could never bear having inside their head. The pain that grief shoots through the heart is, at times, unbearable, and I hate that too.
The thoughts of a bereaved parent vary from moment-to-moment and from scene-to-scene. When I see chocolate cake, I think of my son’s birthday. When I hear Jack White, I can almost see my son’s fingers moving across the neck of his acoustic guitar. When I spot someone wearing Converse tennis shoes, the thought of my son’s feet trips in my brain. When I hug my granddaughter, I sigh sadly at what she is missing. Now that I have a brand new grandson (Conner’s nephew and namesake), I hate grief even more. Sweet little Sagan Conner will never know his “Uncle Con,” and I am pretty pissed off about that.
I hate what grief has done to me. I hate what grief does to the world. It’s a thief; it takes energy, motivation, health, sanity and true happiness from its victims. I also hate what grief has done to my body. I don’t move the way I used to. I hate what it’s done to my mind. I don’t think clearly anymore. I hate what it’s done to my stride. I don’t walk as quickly. The pounding, the daggers, the shudders, the pain. I hate it all. But, hate is a very strong word, so in the name of love and my son, I will honor his life, memory, and I will create a legacy in his name. I still hate grief, but love wins.