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On Grief

By: The Firecracker Writer / Published: May 2022

"Tea" / Media From Wix

In some ways, grief can be compared to a colossal, blisteringly-fast tornado inside your head. A whirlwind of assorted emotions: melancholy, rage, despair, despondency, a consuming emptiness. Sometimes the tornado whirls away into the sea where it is benign, and you have a calm, relatively emotionally unperturbed day. Other times, the tornado swirls back into the city, hitting Times Square front and center and wreaking catastrophic havoc on your psyche. You find it a herculean effort merely to get out of bed. To remember who you were, before the whirlwind of loss. To remember what it felt like to be joyful, to see the world in color, to have a zest for life. You feel as though the world is bleak. Grim. Desolate, as you yearn for whatever it is you cherish to come back. A person, a pet, a place, a career, a time period when all was still flourishing. Anything can trigger grief. Debilitating, paralyzing grief.

Healing can be an enigmatic process at times, one that is akin to learning a bittersweet song on a musical instrument. On certain days, you make considerable progress, and on other days you just can’t crack that complex passage in the score. Some days, you wake up only to realize that you’ve lost all the progress you’ve made on the song last night. Some days, you may have a friend, a mentor cheering you on and ameliorating your morale as you practice, and other days you slave away at the piece in total solitude.

Mastering the virtuosic song of restoration is, indeed, a highly laborious process. But eventually, as you give the piece enough patience, you will begin to hear harmony. Saccharine, euphonic notes with a hint of melancholy. Being a bittersweet tune, it still occasionally evokes unpleasant memories, but they are blanketed by a tone of hope, of warmth, of exquisite beauty.

Of course, the newfound song’s therapeutic effects aren’t always realized. Occasionally, the power of the song is insufficient to withstand the enormous storm of despair engulfing your mind. You may wake up on a particularly arduous day and run out of the will to play it, as your exhausted hands slump despondently on the black and white keys.

Yet when the song works, it works miraculously. As you play note after note, the color in the city, the color in your life begins to come back. Faded hues initially, but hues nonetheless. The tornado begins to dissipate, and the destructive power of the storm gives way to a healing rain over the fields in your mind. Crops grow, and you feel emotionally nourished again. At least for the temporary time being. While you never know if another tempest is going to befall you, or if another catastrophe will upend your mental integrity, you know, at least in the moment, you are okay right now. Surviving, maybe even thriving.

The song that you’ve practiced for so long, it has worked its magic powers.

May you heal.

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