I’m Not Sorry

I wrote this over the course of several days after the passing of a loved one. It speaks to the struggle of understanding my own process of grief when it sometimes seems so overpowering I can hardly breathe, and at others seems so distant I only feel the dullest ache. This is my attempt to step out of self-judgment and into acceptance for the full array of my emotions…

 

I won’t apologize for the way I process grief
For crying too much
Or not at all
For laughing
Or singing
Or dancing
Or never getting out of bed

I won’t apologize for hanging his pictures on every wall
Or the dashboard of my car
Or tattooing several on my chest
Or packing every single one away

I won’t apologize for keeping everything she ever touched
Or wearing all her clothes
Or sleeping where she breathed her last
Or giving everything away

I won’t apologize for bringing him up in every conversation
Or sharing all his best stories
Or posting all his favorite songs
Or never again speaking his name

I won’t apologize for the tattoo made from her ashes
Or sleeping with them each night
Or wearing them around my neck
Or letting the wind carry them all away

I won’t apologize for reading all his journals
Or burning every one
For moving to another city
Or staying in the home we shared

I won’t apologize for keeping her phone on
Or deleting everything that bore her name
For keeping her recording on the voicemail
Or erasing all her texts

I won’t apologize that I call each day
Or haven’t called in ten.
For asking you to stay with me
Or needing to be left alone

I won’t apologize for my glasses filled with wine
Or my netflix filled with comedies
Or my facebook filled with quotes on grief
Or my playlist filled with upbeat songs

I won’t apologize for sleeping too much
Or not at all
For eating too much
Or not at all
For working too much
Or not at all
For visiting the grave too often
Or not at all

Don’t tell me to let go
Don’t tell me to hold on
Don’t tell me I should smile
Don’t tell me not to laugh
I know you only want to help,
So this is what I ask:
Give me your presence and your time,
Your arms and not your judgments
Let me grieve in my own way.
I’ll make it through, I promise.

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