Turning as I loaded the dishwater, I knocked a teetering wine glass to the ground. It’s thin glass spread across the tile, there must have been a hundred pieces. Those were just the ones I could see.

As I bent down to sweep them up, the light caught on more slivers, tiny flecks were everywhere.

Every time I thought I was done there were more. I combed the floor and wondered how one small glass could spread so far.

This is grief.

Grief is that fragile glass, the irreplaceable one, that breaks into a thousand tiny pieces.

Grief is trying to pick up those pieces and being paralyzed by just how many there are.

Grief is the jagged edge that surprises you when you think you’ve swept the tears away and the glint of light when you see the sun, even just for a second.

You can walk that same floor thousands of times, for the rest of your life, and there will always be more.

Pieces of a whole you once held so delicately catch your eye when you sink to the ground, force your steps to remain careful and delicate.Grief-is-the-jagged-edge

For a long time after the fall you will dream about reconstructing the glass, remember it’s curve and certainty, but at some point you realize it can’t be put back together. The pieces that remain are pointed and sharp, cutting your hand as you close it, but catching the light when your palm is outstretched.

They will soften as time goes on and you will see hints of beauty, an ache where there was once a stabbing pain.

You have picked yourself up and gathered what remains, bandaging your wounds.

You will never walk this path the same way again.

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    Jessica Watson is the stay-at-home mom to five, four in her arms and one in her heart. In 2007 she lost her infant daughter, one of triplets, and has been writing her way through the pain ever since. She is a freelance writer with a passion for grief support and working with special needs families. Jessica blogs with her heart on her sleeve at Four Plus an Angel.

    April 18, 2013