Grief hurtsBut not very many people talk about it. It's exhausting, the constant clenching of the jaw, the tightening of the shoulders, that defensive crouch that one assumes as if--ha!--to ward against further blows, greater losses. It's a dull throb in the base of the skull, inexplicable sharp pains in the joints. Compression in the spine. Twinges in the tendons. Those who haven't experienced it can't know--and those who have "recovered" forget--but grief is as much a tactile disturbance as an emotional one. It's dry, swollen eyes, tender sinuses, sudden cramps in the toes. Oh, and, of course, that great gaping empty wound at the center, the jagged aching hole left behind, with edges that are still raw and won't heal over. The absence that hurts more than any presence ever could.
My daughter is having an overnight at her grandma's tonight; great for her, but for me, the empty house, the bleak days stretching forward in this worst week of all, and the absence of my one link to warm, physical connection is unbearable. No, she doesn't make up for the loss of my husband (not that she should have to); yes, she saves my life, every day.