I am full of grief.

I thought it was simply depression, but the more I experience, the more I think it is something else.

Depression is soft and enveloping. It smothers. It pins your hands to your sides, and drops you into a black void. You don’t necessarily feel sad, you feel empty.

Grief knifes you in the heart. It is broken glass strewn in your path. Instead of soft darkness, you find yourself filled to the brim with pain.

It is all I can do not to cry.

I am not grieving my mother-in-law alone. G. and I did not have the strength of relationship to cause me to mourn her passing in depth. I feel deeply for the Rocket Scientist, but that’s a different emotion.

I am grieving my mother. I know she lived a long life and died peacefully, but I wish she were here. I wish she could meet the Not So Little Drummer Boy’s fiance (at least over Zoom, like the rest of us). I wish she could have seen The Red Headed Menace graduate from college, and know that he is currently working on his Ph.D. I wish she could see how Railfan has grown into a responsible and useful adult, and how he is working hard on getting his bachelor’s. I wish I could talk to her about how I feel useless and sometimes unlovable, and have her reassure me that yes, there are people who love me.

I miss her. I thought I had stopped grieving her, had “moved on,” but apparently not.

I had always been skeptical of people who claimed to be grieving someone years after their death. Not anymore. I know what it is like now, how it is complicated by feelings that you should be over this loss, that grief is self-indulgent.

I will be better. I hope that happens soon.

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