The Well of Grief

The Well

September 9, 2015

The Well of Grief

There is a well I’ve been visiting for over half a decade now. The old wooden bucket that hangs over the vacant hole in the ground tosses back and forth with the breeze, almost taunting me; and whether I like it or not, the water that comes from this well is something I can’t live without.

The well is deep, narrow, dark, dank. Mystery surrounds her like a thick fog. I notice the closer I step toward her damp, cracked mortar bricks, the quieter everything else becomes. The grass is soft and new, like baby grass around her. The well is something I’ve struggled with for years now. Adjusting to her waters. I tried to tear her bricks away one day, and convince her that becoming a fountain would be so much easier on both of us. To have her water effortlessly shoot out in beautiful springs, and wow the entire universe.

Look how beautiful! She waters everything around her! Let’s go sit by the fountain, shall we?

She nearly swallowed me whole, and laughed at my naive and optimistic shot at rewriting our story.

This story is ours. The story of drawing and weeping. Waiting and hoping. Toiling and tiring over the waters that sustain me. And mostly, alone. Visiting a water well isn’t exactly a delight. It is a chore, until that water nourishes does it become in essence, a delight. A plant. A body. An animal. A beating heart. A living organism.

And no matter how many times you lower this bucket, there is always something to fetch, and a constant reason to fetch.

A memory.

A wish.

A longing.

A wonderment.

A what-if.

A sorrow.

A joy.

A glimpse.

A breathe.

An inspiration.

An ounce of courage.

A permission to fall apart.

And on the list goes.

This well is filled, sometimes high, and sometimes low. Seasonal, and random. Light is scarce, but I’ve come to expect that from her by now.

I don’t expect to see the bottom, much less understand why this well is what she has become in my life — and that is constant and unpredictable. And oddly enough, encouraging greenery to surround her mysterious, subliminal existence.

This well haunts. Teaches. Moves. Inspires. Forces impossible emotions to coexist for a lifetime. Challenges relationships. Forges unthinkable friendships. Opens doors. Slams doors shut. Is a game changer.

This well is grief.

There is always something in her.

And that is one thing that continues to amaze me about her – she is never ever empty, or without something to offer.

I gladly draw up sorrow, because it is better than nothing at all.

I soberly accept bitter tears, because it means the tragedy has been validated.

I cautiously embrace the joyful sprigs of water, because joy feels so unnatural pouring from this dark well. But it the sweetest water of all, I must admit. It was something I never expected to come from this well, ever, in a million years.

I continue to visit her, because the waters that come from this well keep the part of me that died over half a decade ago feel alive again and again and again. In spite of what comes up on any given day.

  • Franchesca Cox

    Franchesca Cox is the founder and Editor of Still Standing Magazine. She is currently seeking her Master's in Occupational Therapy, a yogi and author of Celebrating Pregnancy Again and Facets of Grief, a creative workbook for grieving mothers. Learn more about her heartwork on her website.

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