Grief is this weird visceral thing without shape and form that yet somehow still manages to carve a hole in your chest in the exact dimensions of your heart. 

It’s a muted, hollow kind of chaos that leaves you both empty and simultaneously overwhelmed, like a white noise that should be deafening but somehow manages to slip from your throat in a hiccup. Like a piece of glass lodged in your throat that you can’t quite swallow down for fear of being cut to ribbons from the inside out, so maybe if you scream long and hard enough you’ll be able to spit it free.

Except there’s nothing tangible to pry away, no matter how much it claws back and burrows deeper into your chest until you think perhaps it has always been there. A tiny sliver of ice that drops into your soul like a two-ton weight of shit and shrapnel, detonating with absolute emotional devastation that should leave nothing but a smoking wreck in its wake but somehow has the audacity to keep you whole.

People say that hate is love turned inside out, but it’s not. Grief is love that’s been ransacked, plundered and left in a thousand million pieces scattered across the strata of your soul like starlight.

And while time supposedly heals all wounds, were the boon offered to take this pain from your soul now, if the gods said I will lift this from you now and all it will cost you is the memory of their smile and the warmth of their arms…there suddenly wouldn’t be time enough.

Be kind to one another. You never know what other people are going through.

It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.
—  Lemony Snicket, “The Reptile Room”
You attend the funeral. You grieve. Then you continue with your life. And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live.
—  Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 6: Fables and Reflections

Two years ago, life was good for Sheryl Sandberg. The Facebook senior executive and mother of two had a best-selling book (Lean In) and she and her husband, Dave Goldberg, decided to take a vacation. But on that vacation, Goldberg collapsed at the gym from heart failure and died. He was 47 years old.

Sandberg went through a period of darkness after her husband’s death. She turned to professionals and friends for help getting through it, and now she’s written a book with one of those professionals, psychologist Adam Grant. It’s called Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.

Sandberg spoke to NPR about finding her way back to normal and the best way to be there for someone who’s grieving.

‘Just Show Up’: Sheryl Sandberg On How To Help Someone Who’s Grieving

It is eerily terrifying that there is no sound when a heart breaks. Car accidents end with a bang, falling ends with a thud, even writing makes the scratching sound of pencil against paper. But the sound of a heart breaking is completely silent. Almost as though no one, not even the universe itself could create a sound for such devastation. Almost as though silence is the only way the universe could pay its respect to the sound of a heart falling apart.

–Nikita Gill

Sometimes, I’ll just be going about my day and it’s just an average Tuesday and then sometimes – this feeling hits me out of nowhere.

This super heavy feeling in my chest that makes me feel like I can’t breathe sometimes.

And sometimes, when that feeling hits me, it feels like you’re with me and I can breathe again.

And in that moment, I will laugh because I remember something funny you did or how easily and unconditionally you made me feel love – especially today, in a world that doesn’t seem to love easily. A world that doesn’t seem to love at all.

And somehow, even if just in that moment, it seems like I’ll be okay again.
Maybe not today.
But someday.
Someday I’ll be okay again.

The world around us may have changed, but we haven’t.

And then sometimes, I remember you’re gone… but then, I’ll remember your smile.

And then I smile.

—  I miss you. I miss you so much.