I lie in bed and close my eyes. I wait. I know it will find me eventually. It always does. 

The darkness. The grief. The emptiness. The heartbreak. They always come. Traveling together. 

I’ve had a great day, full of fun and family and joy. But that doesn’t matter. The darkness always finds me. It doesn’t steal the joy and happiness of the day, it simply transforms it for a short time. Reminding me of its power and its influence. 

The darkness. The grief. The emptiness. The heartbreak.

They all demand to be noticed and felt. They demand to be kept, always. They creep up in the nighttime when things are calm and quiet. They turn the silence to complicated chaos. Only this chaos is invisible. It is created and crafted in the mind and heart. Seen by no one. Felt intensely by you.

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I lie here, gratefully praying for the goodness of this life, knowing shortly I will be reminded of the sorrow of this life too. I await their arrival. They always travel together. Grief’s team is a powerful one. 

Heartbreak. Emptiness. Sorrow. Regret. Sadness. Disbelief. Anger. Gratitude. They all work together as a delicate powerhouse. One built with love and joy and appreciation but painted with loss. One that reminds us we were once blessed with a great person and relationship. One that is both a blessing and a curse. 

I close my eyes tightly as I feel them wrap around my mind and heart. I welcome them. Shunning them would do no good, for they became a part of me many years ago.

I acknowledge their visit. I acknowledge the emotion and angst they bring.

The darkness. The grief. The emptiness. The heartbreak. All recognized and accepted. I breathe them in and exhale them out, over and over again. Eventually, I thank them for their visit and pray silently that between visits, they allow more time and more healing. Hoping one day their visits will be few and far between. 

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I roll over, catching a glimpse of the moon that illuminates the skygorgeous hues of purple and orange. I look up. I smile. I whisper . . . I love you, always. I remember you, always. I think of you, always. 

You are missed with an intensity that cannot be denied or ignored. Both grief and love make sure of that. My favorite of those is love. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

Chelsea Ohlemiller

Wife, mother, and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is married to the love of her life, Justin. She’s the mother to three beautiful and spunky children. She has a deep love of teaching and has always enjoyed helping inspire students. She is a Ball State graduate but an Indiana University Hoosier at heart. Chelsea’s mother always encouraged her to write. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. She decided to honor her mother's wishes and write. It was one of the best decisions she's ever made. Website: www.hopeandharshrealities.com Instagram Handle: hopeandharshrealities Facebook: @hopeandharshrealities