You may not intuitively associate betrayal trauma with grief. Initially, betrayal is marked by shock, anger, bewilderment, rage, disbelief, some denial, profound sadness and finally acceptance. After the dust settles and you begin to own that this is your new reality – something else settles in like a low covering cloud. Something that you just can’t put your finger on – but it’s always there.
Grief will be the one that visits often, she’s a strong force to be reckoned with – but also a supportive familiar force, that if you spend enough time with her, you’ll see she’s trying to lead you on a journey. Through the Valley of the Shadow of death up and over to the other side where she can introduce you to the one they call Joy.
You see, Grief is the one who holds and comforts. She’s awkward at first, but if you sit with her long enough – you’ll see she is trying to move you onto something deeper – something fulfilling – something satisfying. She sits and listens, rubs your back and holds space for your pain. Grief is the one to hold hands with, to get through that Valley. She leads you to the table marked by a feast that holds all the treasures you once knew. Embrace her.
We don’t want to spend time with her – what we want, is to run from her, yet it is Grief that binds up the damage done by Loss.
I wrote this Ode to Grief– as I struggle to spend time with her. Everything inside my body wants to avoid the pain and loss. I do not want to go thru hard things -I’m scared. Most days, I do choose to avoid her rather than face her and allow her presence to wash over me. It is my hope that one day on this journey, it will become easier for my body to surrender and allow Grief to do her job – to lead me thru to Joy. I hope that my body will release the old ways of avoidance, and with bravery and courage – I will take the hand of Grief, walk with her and talk with her.
Ode to Grief
I do not like you.
I’m told I’m supposed to look you dead in the eyes, to face you head on and hold a space for you.
“Honor your grief”, they say.
But I don’t wanna.
Cuz Grief, you come with a sidekick and her name is Loss.
And before I met you, I had to face Loss.
You see, Loss came to my door and barged her way in.
She shook up my world and took so many things.
Did she happen to leave a note?
Grief, That’s where you came in.
Instead of barging in with a “hit and run” a “dine n’ dash”
You came in, sat in a chair, put your feet up, and chose to stay.
Well, I don’t like you!
You’ve stayed for a while.
Don’t you have somewhere to be?
You make me feel things when you sit there and stare.
You make my stomach turn, my nights sleepless and my thoughts too heavy to bear.
Grief, what gives?
Why do you wait?
Why do you stare?
Are you waiting for me to tell you- you’ve won?
You’re becoming familiar
As you sit in that chair, with that look on your face.
That calm, inviting look on your face.
Grief, have you been waiting all this time, for me?
Well, what if I pulled up a chair and we talked?
What would you say?
(I walk past you everyday)
You’re presence is known and intimate.
You help me pick up the broken pieces left behind by Loss
The disheveled fragments of life thrown about when Loss made her violent exit.
Your back again? To talk? So soon?
I know we’ll mark the moments, hand in hand
Moving our way thru scary, uncharted land