Oh, how can life be
So despicably cruel?
Finding space enough
For reason in grief
Is like discovering
A rare jewel.
A needle in an acre haystack
Is getting out of this,
It may take forever
Is anything again like bliss.
Experiences of high times, when life was rosy, and when we had no care in the world, and certainly no thought against anyone or anything, appear surreal on the memory as we consider life from the grief perspective in the midst of a high time.
Nobody else can quite understand the chilling loneliness that is like vinegar to our bones. It’s not like we cannot pretend; we can. But what would be the point in that? Even though we are with family we are not with the people we wish to be with. It’s not our family’s fault. They just want to see us happy. And we just want to be happy, stable, in control again.
Grief is bad enough during times of normality, but the sorrowful parts of the grief experience are accentuated during high times; when there is pressure to keep a good face. The person in their grief that has half an ounce of authenticity about them will refuse that opportunity to keep a good face, unless to do so would be to harm someone. Then they will keep their grief to themselves, but there will be a hint of despondency for the discerning to see.
High times, grief and loneliness coexist together because high times are polarising. They have us leaping within ourselves for joy or they have us shrinking – if we are honest.
It’s okay not to have it together.
Most of us don’t have life together even when life runs swimmingly. If it isn’t despair getting at us, it’s pride or rigidity or something else.
We need to feel as if it’s okay to experience grief and loneliness when everyone else is partying. Grief is what it is. Why should we deny our emotional experience when our emotional experience is undeniable?
At the same time, we might all use others’ passion and enthusiasm to sweep us off into a temporary joy. What harm can it do?
High times bring out our best and our worst. For the grieving it is definitely the worst. For those who just wish life to become normal again, the high time needs only to be endured. Those who must endure should inevitably live to enjoy high times again. Grief is what it is. Don’t fight it beyond a wholesome discipline.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.