Don’t Change the Channel

Don’t change the channel when I’m grieving.

It’s in people to want to protect us and make us feel better. But I put this on to cry. I will explode if I don’t watch Jack Frost or Instant Family. It is a tool to help me move through the process, and I walk willingly into it.

Instead, hold me as I cry and cry with me if you want to. Our eyes are meant for many things. Recalling memories is one. Crying is another.

Don’t spread sunshine when I want to be under gray skies. In the safety beneath the clouds, the world drab like I feel inside. This is paramount for me to move through and I must feel the bleakness pressing into me so I can know how strong the sun shines.

Don’t redirect me to move on and leave my feelings behind. It’s critical that I process them so I can get to the other side. If I don’t, they will come out anyway, and that can hurt me. Everything, loss, angst, the absence of control will well up inside me and take up residence. Let me be in it. Even if it makes you squirm.

Don’t stop me from moving through the paces if this is what I need. Grief isn’t predictable. It’s not made up of expected steps. It is a dance that no one knows how to execute until it is thrust upon them. Inspired by music only the broken-hearted can hear.

Don’t leave me behind and tiptoe around me. I can assure you, there is nothing else on my mind but turning over regrets and what ifs and what is left unsaid. In these moments, words are fleeting as all I want to do is impress my love upon the one fighting to be carried around for as long as they have. But don’t stop asking me to participate in life. I am straddling two worlds now, and while one pulls my attention, they are both implicit to my meaning.

Remind me I am not alone even though it can feel like that in a room full of people. I need to know I am on your heart. That I am loved enough to eclipse some of the events in your world as mine is reeling.

Impress on yourself that you are loved even as I might forget to be as mindful. Even if I don’t thank you for every appreciation. I still see you caring for me through the tears in my eyes. I am trying my best, my grief hijacking me into a life I don’t know–a new map, rife with potholes and pitfalls. I don’t know where to step and when I can begin to hope, it is ripped away. A tattered flag seeing better days.

So, please don’t change the channel. Even if I am vegging out, I am giving my brain and heart a recess so I can go on. Even as I am wailing over what can never be again. Let me ride these waves and stand by me so I know I can be how I am and who I am amidst all the love in your heart.

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