In Memoriam: The Color of Grief

It's always sneaky in how it creeps into the quiet moments. Life goes on in the ebb and flow of the sunrise and sunset. Meals served, errands run, chores left undone. 

It's always in the little things where the memory catches in my throat and takes my breath away. It's in the tender moments where I wonder what life would look like if you were here and well. The cookies you would have baked, the sleepovers the kids would have roped you into, the gifts upon gifts as you carried on the legacy of spoiling that your dad was such a fan of as a grandpa. 

I forget how the dull ache colors everything in the weeks leading up to those hard dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day, Father's Day. I always forget how the grief bleeds into every breath. It is the way of this world, separated from eternity. Parents pass. Children grow. The cycle continues.

Yet, life is never the same. There are so many questions left unanswered, so many stories left untold. So much laughter left unlaughed and tears left unwiped. So much wondering why - why others get their parents to a ripe old age. Why I'm left alone. So much guilt - guilt for not having loved you better, for not having spent more time with you while you were here. Guilt for being angry when I got so much from you, for seeking attention when others have suffered so much worse.

All the hues of these conflicting emotions seep into the every day motions, so subtly sometimes that I don't even notice beyond a general unease. How could it be any other way? You are intricately woven within me, even when I fought it in those trying years. Yet it's that same connection that comforts me in those moments when I begin to forget. A scent wafts past and I remember you're not really gone. You are here. In the laughter of your grandchildren...and in their sass. In the meals I cook from the basics you taught me. In the jewelry I wear that I staked claim to as a little girl. You are gone and yet you are here with us all at once.

It isn't the same, but it's what we cling to until that time when, by the grace of God, we see each other once again. 

- Rakhi McCormick


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