Since the age of 10 I've thought that grieving is a weird thing, maybe it’s because no one told me how to do it, and you’d think they would have
because, people get cancer, give up, have heart attacks, are murdered and drown. People die and people are dying, and it’s always been hard
once I expected it and six times I didn’t, and seven times I prayed, but I don’t know if I believe in anything that I can’t see, that’s why I’m bad at chemistry, why praying is still something I do sometimes
because entropy increases and we always lose, loving people makes me vulnerable, I realized when grief was punching me in the kidneys that everything is entropic, I didn't know how to let the chaos out, grief is an emotion that lived in my soul and grieving is a process that I didn’t know the ideal outcome of
once I googled it and I read the 5 steps. I thought I’d maybe done the last two but those were someone elses steps and mine were different
I learned how to knit so I could knit my soul back together. I don’t know if I believe in souls but something was in pieces. I painted my toenails the colors of mermaids, but I was so scared of water, and I still am but I swim anyway. I devoted parts of my heart to drawers full of glitter and goat cheese and long skirts.
there was a point when the grief was an itch in that thing that was once completely shattered, those pieces never seemed to fit back together again quite right. I realized that sometimes rips are too big to sew back together sometimes you need patches. There was a time when my patches were food and swings and books, things that I thought were enough because they couldn't leave me, but that’s like patching rain gear with suede it lets all the salt water through and everything gets colder. There are better materials in the world for patches, literally and metaphorically
literally that metaphor is inadequate, because in that metaphor people are what became patches on my rips, but the people who are gone can't be patched over with more people, there's always going to be holes there.
people are quilt squares in the quilt that I need to wrap myself in to make everything seem okay, the quilt is ripped and the tatters are ugly in a way that only once beautiful things can be, but more squares are sewn on every time I love someone. Maybe it's enough to keep me warm
the threads are my heart strings, all of them, because all of my heart is for loving people and loving the world. later I figured out that I had to love myself too because the only way I could get through the feelings of loss and the feeling of being lost was to love everything more than I thought I could. To hug more, cuddle more, express more
and that’s hard because it still makes me vulnerable and the quilt keeps ripping. I keep sewing because, maybe the ideal outcome of grief is love, and if it isn’t
it is what grief has taught me
I posted a version of this poem on here a couple of days ago but then I added a lot of stuff to it so I decided to delete the earlier version and post this one instead. The formatting has changed because it's meant to be a spoken word piece for an open mic that I'm going to in a couple of weeks.