Sudden Impact: The Audacity of Grief

If I had to describe the feeling of grief… It’s as if I am standing on a train track and I see a train coming in the distance, but my leg is stuck underneath the track and I cannot move. I keep trying to yank my foot out from underneath the track but it won’t give. I hear the train in the distance, it’s engine roar slowly increasing in volume as it approaches me.

It’s getting so loud, I can’t sleep. I once considered myself a go-getter but now something is about to get me.

Tell me how can one ever really brace for impact. I often questioned the validity of the word “Ready” no one is ever ready. 

Ready is a lie, a fallacy, a Cinderella-like fairy tale that promotes false expectations that humans can always prepare for things. But it’s all bullshit. We can’t!

The train is still on course – chugging towards me…

train 1

Closer it cinches near me…  The anxiety of knowing that it’s coming but the powerlessness in also knowing, there is absolutely nothing I can do.

So I sit within the mercilessness of limbo and it claws at my heart.

I see a faint light glimmer in the distance and a ray of smoke from the train’s engine creates a mythic like figure in the stiff air.

It’s coming but in slow motion. It’s coming and I can’t move. It’s coming and so is the humility of surrender.

When it hits, I won’t mutter the lie that I was ready, only the truth of my resistance and how I fought, tooth and nail, grasping hope like it was a tangible life raft I could hold onto as a buffer between me and the oncoming train.

Something about trying, even in the face of fierce odds that surround me like famished wolves, feeds my illusion that I can save her. I find a way until there is not a way, and won’t waste another day grieving until she is actually gone.

But that’s another lie I console myself with because, in random places, memories of her emerge and stun my soul, tears well up and I lose control. Remembering that time she bust out with the Robot dance at a party. Remembering when she helped me buy my first car.

Most of all, remembering the silent oath of sisterhood and how we never, ever give up on each other… So here I am stuck on the train tracks with her, inevitably what hits her also hits me and although she tried to shield us all from her prognosis, we willing sacrifice our peace to stand alongside her to suffer the impact.

train 3

Like a proud soldier, I enroll myself unto battle unapologetically. And the questions still beckon me like ghosts…

What if I lose her?

What if I don’t?

Here I am in the in between, vacillating between both extremes and the toll is soulfully exhausting.

By Janell Hihi