When I Set Fire To The Pain

crow and umbrellas

What’s sorrow really, mom?  …  It’s  hurt, sweetie.  It’s this really deep grief, usually from losing love in some way, mostly suddenly…  and I won’t say it, but it breaks my heart to know that it will happen someday for even my sweet, sweet baby. And another tear falls…

God… how many times have I heard it said, “It’s better to have loved & lost than to never have loved at all”?  Well, that may be true, probably it’s true… like the old Garth Brooks song that said, “I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance”.  Except when you first feel the pain…. you just think, oh God, I really don’t want this dance… I really can’t do this; this is way too much to ask… Why isn’t it too wrong to ask that I endure this?

This pain… the pain of losing soul deep love… Seemingly snatched so quickly that you struggle to remember that they were real… that you held them,  that you saw them, that you heard them… and you think how… how is it possible that they could actually have been here?

How is it possible that they weren’t just a figment of your imagination when you finally realize, when you truly, honestly, completely know … that you will never, ever touch them again… that you will never, ever hear their voice again… that you will never, ever hear them say to you again, I love you… I love you… I love you…

I’m really not sure what the worst of it all is. I can’t quite tell if it’s during the immediate shock of the event that swells my heart into a pillow that suffocates breath or that new quiet of the day that emerges later… the lack of talking about nothing… the laughing over just silliness or asking, sweetie – what do you think?  Maybe that’s the most searing – those new quiet holes… those utterly empty extra minutes.

The fall, when sorrow called again, I switched on the autopilot. Only creativity was exceptional.  The anger of pain has always been the most fruitful muse for me.  Anger… once again my friend, made words fly through my fingertips faster than I could speak…through the struggle to breathe…and the primal desire to hit things and hurl them and hurt anything…

Grief, like fear, transmutes my normal fire into an inferno, a – set fire to the rain – fury. My inner warrior surges fiercely from me to fight and slash recklessly at the brutal fates; to slay the enemy of dreams, hopes and plans.  To demand back what was mine, even while feeling within those pitiable new spaces of my broken heart, that it is only futility I battle.

He knew me… He knew me. Whenever I was rattled, he’d often say, poor bunny, you feel so much, so deeply….And just the sound of his voice saying those words was a comforting balm, a soothing hug.  And he was right… I so do and I wonder how do I get myself through this too… Can I?

And then, eventually, reluctantly, I will admit yes, I suppose I will. I always have. It’s not even a choice, I just will. I know all of this; I’ve been on this ride awhile. I know I will slump soon… into a mix of muted warrior inertia.

I’ve lost before.  I will breathe… I’ll walk through the motions of normal… in between the bouts of sobs and fury…and repeat, until I get to somewhere around the new normal.  My spirit will once again console my heart.

Losses…to accidents or illnesses, those brutally tragic events, or to mental health issues, addiction issues, betrayals and even a great love gone wrong, this pain is the same sorrow.  I know it is – I’ve lost people to all of these circumstances.  When someone is gone, they’re gone and if you love them, it doesn’t hurt any less.

They’re gone… and that’s all we can feel – for as long as it takes to find our new steps in a changed song, until hopefully one day, we’ll also vaguely realize we’re humming the new melody under our breath.

And we plod on, hopeful…


Thank you DQ, so much, for your generous support.

31 thoughts on “When I Set Fire To The Pain

  1. It seems that our most beautiful words are used to describe the deepest cuts. In times like these, I used to pray for amnesia or for the next crest of good feelings (before the inevitable next plummet)
    Writing about it helps, and you do so with resilience, grace, and self-awareness.
    There’s never anything a person can say to make this better, so I’ll simply send a hug and healing vibes. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry that you’ve had to experience such anguish, but glad you have found a way–at least temporarily–to channel that pain into something profoundly beautiful and heartfelt.

    I’ve only felt such anguish a few times in my life. I have found that the pain never leaves but instead transforms me into something I might never have been. I want to be grateful for this transformation, but as you suggest, I often wonder if the price of my evolution was too high.

    Know that you are loved, my friend, and take what comfort you can from knowing that you are never alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Randall, thank you so much, for this beautiful message. Your words about transformation are absolutely true and they join up with a very inspirational thought or two that I had with another friend last night. Between the two of you, it seems that I am meant to see something much more pointedly at this time, within the middle of this. Yes, I do wonder where this trip will bring me this time.

      And, thank you, my friend, even more for the reminder that I am not alone…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I definitely have been cracked open in half by grief- the kind of searing pain that can a person wonder how she can bare it though bear (pun intended) it she must. And then inevitably the balm calms and we, as you say, “hopeful.” – I guess both the sorrow and the healing are inevitable if we want to be part of this world. Beautiful poignant post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Robyn, I am so sorry you are feeling such sadness & pain. I hope that in some small way, sharing your beautifully written words helps to move you on the path to a more peaceful heart. Sending you big hugs my friend.


  5. Hi Robyn, They say that grief is the price of love, but to me it always seems such an unfair price. This is a very powerful post! The universal made so personal it’s universal, and all over again, and again. Hugs to you, while you wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s when you’re hurting like this that you’re most in the arms of God. He knew the pain of emotional suffering just as much as physical pain, and I’m pretty certain that He carries us when we’re in that place. Love & hugs to you. Xxx

    PS you know you can email me whenever about whatever. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Freshly Seen at Jill’s Scene in January – Jill's Scene

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