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This Is The Work Blog by Alex J Brown
  • Writer's pictureAlex J Brown

The Weight

I grieved every inch of this home

we made together.

I grieved the empty spaces left

from the furniture we split

before you cut your losses

and ran.

I grieved the idea

of you showing up

at my doorstep

begging for me to

forgive you

and give you

another chance

and how I pictured it

every time I turned

the corner toward that house

for weeks

for months.

I grieved that feeling

of knowing I was always

coming home to the thing

I loved best

and how it was replaced

by this.

I grieved the tenderness

the best of you

the times I felt safe

in your slender arms

against your chest

heart beating calmly

with you as a witness

to my entire existence.

I grieved the way

we co-existed.

I grieved the pieces of you

that became pieces of me

the ones that shattered when you left

and the ones that stayed.

I grieved the imprints

and the scars

and the shrapnel

and the lessons

all the beautiful and terrible things

that will never fade

and will always matter.

And I grieved the way

you looked at me

and I knew

I just knew

how deep

your love ran.

I grieved the love we made.

I grieved the first time

you ever told me

you wouldn’t have me any other way

and the last time you said

it wasn’t enough.

I grieved Sundays

lazy Sundays

the best day of my week

the day we’d always spend together

just the two of us.

I grieved how two became one, overnight,

and Sundays became just another day

to get through.

I grieved that life still had to keep moving

when all I wanted was for it to stop

when all I felt was emptiness.

I grieved that image in my head

of who you were

and who you could be

if I just loved you hard enough.

I grieved the things you did

while you were leaving

and how they didn’t fit

with my version of you

how after all we'd been through

I deserved so much better.

I grieved the flickers of humanity

those parts you tried so desperately to hide

those moments you let it peek through.

I grieved that those flickers of light

will never be enough

I need whole skies

I need entire universes of the stuff.

I grieved the love you could never give

the needs you could never meet

the boundaries you violated

playing on repeat.

I grieved all the things

I sacrificed to keep you here.

And I grieved the truth:

It was always going to end like this

and there was nothing

I could have ever done

to stop it.

I grieved that our lives continue

separately, and the ways I've tried

to stay in this place

just to feel some semblance

of closeness to your memory --

and (who am I kidding)

to try forgetting what you did.

I grieved my illusions

of control

of trust

of what it means

to make a promise

of certainty

of us

of honesty

of believing words

when actions don’t align

of self-deceit

that most harmful kind of lying.

And I grieved the old wounds

the ones that came

to consciousness

after you left me wanting.

I grieved every time

a person I loved ever

rejected me

neglected me

made me feel cheap

or rendered me unseen

then walked away in denial

to keep their filthy hands clean.

I grieved the injustice of it all

the apologies I will never receive.

I grieved what turned out to be

a lifetime of pain

shoved and stuffed away

because I hated it.

I grieved for that little girl inside,

the one I tried to lock up

and keep quiet

for fear that she would ruin

everything good in my life.

I grieved all the ways I tried

to kill her off, when she never

did anything wrong to me

when all she ever wanted

was to be loved and seen.

And I grieved the dilution

the delusion

the confusion I felt

when my expectations

didn’t match up

with reality.

I grieved all the ways

I bent and broke myself

to make things that hurt me fit.

I grieved my mistakes

and my regrets.

I grieved the past I didn’t have

the future I thought I wanted

the life we will never get to create

the life I have to make for myself.

I grieved the unknown space

between now and the next time

it feels like everything happens

for a reason, and everything is right.

And I grieved the old me

the one that would be

knocking on your door tonight

willing you to just believe

a little longer

trying to convince you

to love me

to stay.

I grieved the stronger part

the one that gives everything

day by day by day

to protect me this time

to protect that little girl inside.

I grieved every tender feeling

every step along the way.

And I have wished it to stop

to have mercy on me, many times

but the more it fills me

the more I realize

that now is as good a time as ever

and when this Grief

has done its work and gone

I will have no doubt in my mind

that I have healed.

And that

that is worth the wait.

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