Monday, February 8, 2016

The Beauty in the Beast

The Beast of Grief is a fierce one.  It's teeth are as sharp as razors and can cut through flesh like a hot knife through butter.   It's claws, thick and black, extend from it's massive paws, dripping with blood.  The legs of the Beast ripple with muscle and are as strong as they are fast.   No matter how fast you can run, it can run faster.   It will overtake you in a matter of seconds.    It will throw itself on top of you, crushing you with it's enormous weight, and sink its teeth into your neck.   It's claws pierce through your skin and pin you to the ground as it rips you open with a savage growl.   You cannot escape the Beast.   You cannot brace yourself for its attack.   You can only succumb.  And, once the Beast has attacked, you can only lie there and wait for the bleeding to stop, for the gashes to heal enough for you to sit up.   Slowly, slowly, slowly, you get back on your feet.   You shakily start to walk again, knowing the beast is still out there.  Knowing it's only a matter of time before it is upon you again.  Most likely, it will be before your current wounds fully heal.  In fact, you are never really, truly, fully healed.   Your old scars become new wounds in a constant cycle of tearing and healing and tearing and healing.    You are at its mercy, and will be for the rest of your life.   

Sometimes, the Beast attacks in rapid succession.  It pounces on you again and again, never giving you a chance to catch your breath in between.   Sometimes, the Beast waits for days, sometimes weeks, between attacks, and the added surprise is enough to stop your heart.  The Beast is ruthless and vicious.  It tears you down so easily, like ripping the corner off a piece of paper.   You are weak and vulnerable, and you wonder how you keep surviving.   Somehow, though, you do.  Day after day.  You bleed and you heal.  Your life becomes two moments.  The attack and the aftermath.

Grief is ugly.  It is raw and gaping and painful.   One might argue there is nothing beautiful about it.   How could there be?   How can a bloodbath be beautiful?

The beauty in grief lies not in the attack of the beast, but in the time that comes after.   It lies in the determination you develop to keep your heart beating despite the fact it's in shreds.  Your heart, broken and battered, becomes the heart of a Warrior.   You become a fighter, a fierce and worthy adversary for the Beast.   You know you can't stop it from attacking you, but you still fight for your own survival.   Where before, you may have taken some things in life for granted, now you fight for every shred of happiness and joy you can find.   You recognize that nothing is guaranteed, and so you hold on to each moment with trembling fingers, pulling it in close and savoring its flavor.   You live your life minute by minute, which to some, might seem stressful and reckless, but you know it's the only way you can be.  You learn the Beast attacks you because, despite your sorrow, you are still completely and utterly in love with your baby.   The emptiness your child left behind is still there, yes, but, the other places of your heart, the places that can still be filled, are filled with unconditional love.  You hurt because you love.  You love starlight, a whisp, a dream, a memory.  You love a baby you cannot hold or watch grow.    And, while that may be enough to make some people just give up completely, you, my Warrior, would never do that.   You don't let the Beast take away the love you hold so tightly. No matter how much you bleed, no matter how much you are torn to pieces, you never let the Beast harden your heart.  You love, deeply and immensely, with full knowledge that the more you love, the harder the beast will bite down.  You look the Beast dead in the eye and you sneer into its frothing mouth,  "I will not be beaten.  I will not give in.  You will not take my love for her away from me."   The pain of grief is unspeakable, most definitely.  Yet, in that pain, lies unspeakable love, like a glistening diamond buried inside sharp shards of broken glass.  

And, despite the pain, that love, that pure, undying love, like shimmering moonlight on a dark and angry beautiful.  


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