I first experienced loss when I was 11. A batchmate, a girl no older than 13. I don't quite remember how I reacted, but I remember being very confused. Scared, even, for more reasons than you'd think. I was worried she would soon be forgotten, and it was frightening. Sometime between the day's recess and next week's art class, it'd be like she never existed. I wanted to be wrong. I wasn't.
The non-permanence of experience irks me. That's what I fear most about death. It's ironic, really. It's the most permanent thing that could happen to us, and yet, we, the living, compress our mourning into a certain timeline, after which one is expected to move on. Move on, I detest the phrase. What a spineless species, the sapiens, terrified of feeling their own sentiment for too long, lest it get real.
I, for one, am exceedingly protective of my grief. I cling to it, I let it wash over me, and I flow freely, wherever it may take me. It can be as soothing as it is catastrophic, it leaves me as full as empty. It keeps me in touch with those who left me behind.
Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.