Title borrowed from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Notes On Grief which was brilliantly reviewed by Daniella Khanani.
Grief is not gauzy; it is substantial, oppressive, a thing opaque. The weight is heaviest in the mornings, post-sleep: a leaden heart, a stubborn reality that refuses to budge. I will never see my father again. Never again. It feels as if I wake up only to sink and sink. – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Notes on Grief.
Today marks exactly one month since my father passed away. It hasn’t been an easy month. I wake up to go through all stages of grief daily. The shock, the denial, the bargaining, the anger, the depression, the guilt, and the acceptance. Some days have been good. Other days, I don’t want to wake up.
It sucks that his very essence was reduced to a body in a box, six feet under. A lot of the time, I wake up and feel a crushing weight that begs me to sink deeper into it. I resist this, hoping to keep floating. Grief is trying to get used to a world you don’t recognize. It’s waking up to the cruel knowledge that a part of your soul was ripped out and all you have to heal the wound is salt and water. Grief is confusion, puzzlement, hopelessness, and hopefulness wrapped in a neatly tied five letter word.
This is the first thing I’ve written since his death. I tried to get back into the fray but failed. I couldn’t be creative. I tried to write a book review, and even that was a steep impossible climb. I don’t know how to be creative. I owe my writing career to this man. He encouraged me and made me believe that I could be a writer. He kept likening me to one of his favorite writers, Terry Pratchett.
See, he was a larger than life character. He was self deprecating and his capacity for love is unmatched. He had a way of drawing you in and making you family the instant you met him. A lot of my friends that got to meet him will agree with this. It still doesn’t make sense that I am speaking and writing about him in the past tense.
I torque my mind firmly to its shallow surface alone. I cannot think too much, I dare not think too deeply, or else I will be defeated, not merely by pain but by a drowning nihilism, a cycle of thinking there’s no point, what’s the point, there’s no point to anything. I want there to be a point, even if I do not know, for now, what that point is. – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
I woke up and the world had changed
my world had changed.
you up and left without a warning.
I closed my eyes hoping it was a dream
trying to wake up
I still found that I now inhabited a world I do not recognize
I’m trying to find my feet but I keep falling
this ground is uneven
I’m trying to see but I can’t
this air is too foggy
I’m trying to breathe but it’s too heavy.
I woke up and the world had changed.
And as I try to learn to be without you
I feel adrift. unanchored.
in a storm
I don’t recognize this world.
I woke and the world had changed.
and now I’m trying to learn to live in a world without my father.
In all of this, I’m grateful for my village. My friends. My people. My family. The people that are holding me up with prayer. The people that check in. Those that are holding me through it. I’m grateful for them.
Read Notes on Grief for an understanding of the depth of pain one goes through with grief. I’ve tried and truly failed to convey what it is I wanted to say about Grief, but CNA has a way with words.
Grief is a cruel kind of education. You learn how ungentle mourning can be, how full of anger. You learn how glib condolences can feel. You learn how much grief is about a language, the failure of a language and the grasping for language
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I’ll be back to the semi-regular program of posting come August. Thank you all for sticking with me.