grief is

Grief is light, I tell myself in the middle of another sleepless night. Sometimes I try to keep myself grounded but it is impossible when you hold so much light, when you are so much lighter than air, so much lighter than light.

I think I could float away. I think I could be a star– just look how my name has collapsed into a sun.

Grief is a thing you can see in the darkness, better than anything else.

Even when I am not sad, I grieve, and I glow and I crackle like a neon sign, like a birthing star, like air when it runs through the earth with its arms open wide. I am almost entirely made of light now.

Grief is light, and everything else is heavy and dark and full of gravity and gravitas. Everything else is feet on the ground, is dandelions roots fighting in the cracks, is tall oak trees that whisper and sink into the soil.

On another sleepless night, I do not remember how to touch the earth, how to sink into her. I don’t know how to stay in my bed or stay at all.

My heart is in my hands, my hands are luminous, transparent. They blend into each other, they hold nothing, they shine and they love and they lose and they shine and they shine.

On another sleepless night, I am so full of radiance, I make wishes on myself.




A friend offered a prompt “Grief is…” which made me reflect on the language of grief. How we often use the words heavy and dark for grief, and maybe, just maybe, that isn’t right at all.

8 thoughts on “grief is

  1. Rarasaur, I think you may have found the touchstone

    For where do stars come from?
    From cosmic dust swirling in black clouds
    So thick and heavy, like dirty floodwater
    Curling into rotating balls of darkness
    Growing thicker like coagulated oil
    Until the weight of everything is just too much
    Collapsing by the gravity of this situation
    Heat and pressure build inside the great contraction
    Until fusion begins, and a star is born

    And many exhausted years later,
    Depending on cosmic causes and conditions
    That bright star will have had more than enough
    And blast a damn hole in the fabric of spacetime
    Spewing its seed hither and yon, like a young lover
    Where you and I are ultimately conceived
    Made from cosmic detritus — that “star stuff”
    From which we grow, regroup and transform
    And one more time, shine brightly, and even twinkle

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I’ve never felt my grief as a dark and sullen thing. For me, it was always a plasma fire, burning and boiling off into space. For me, it was a livid handprint on my heart.

    You’re right to name it a glowing, crackling thing.


    Liked by 5 people


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