grief (noun) deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death


I’ve written the word grief so many times now, it appears to me to be misspelled–not even misspelled, but a term invented by an imagination most dark. I wish I could detail the profundity of my grief–of my sister’s grief–because I swear on everything deemed holy, if I have to defend myself, and my sister, one more goddamned time, I’m going to come unglued, and bust up this motherfucking house. And Tara’s house, too, for fuck’s sake.

I’m one more cliché away from shattering teeth. “Buck up” is not an appropriate reaction to anyone who is mourning. For real, what in the nine circles of hell is wrong with you? I can tell you–you’ve not yet experienced this level of utter absence, yet you’re so secure with how you’d handle your shit, you believe you have some sort of stunning immunity to the potent taste of black abyss.

Well, listen here–it’s confident pricks like you who end up lost in the fog of tragedy. Tara and I, we acknowledge our need for help. So maybe “bucking up” fits. Not by your definition…but I don’t give one fuck about your definition of taking responsibility of oneself.

You praise me for my strengths without mentioning my frailties. My frailties make up the biggest parts of my strength. How can one be truly strong without that which they must overcome?

This level of mourning is none like you’ve ever had to see me through before…and I know you loved my mother. You mourned her, and now you seem to be done with all of that sad business. But goddamn it, there is no box big enough for me to stuff my feelings into, and no time table of grieving laid out for me. Shit! When you come in from work, and find me crying while holding a photograph of my mother, don’t ask me why I’m sad! Fucking duh!

I refuse to pretend I’m okay. And I defend my sister’s feelings, too.

Don’t make this a choice for me.

You’ll lose.














Published by Kindra M. Austin

Author of fiction, poetry, and very sweary social commentary. Editor, and co-founder of Indie Blu(e) Publishing. Co-founder of Blood Into Ink, and Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen.

24 thoughts on “grief (noun) deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death

  1. Oh how hard life is! I am struck by how much we all at times struggle with validating each other. Obviously i can’t speak for anyone except my own experience, but I wonder if this happens in part due to people expecting you to be strong and carry on. As if, somehow, allowing yourself to express grief isn’t strong. I am thinking of times that I both didn’t receive the validation I needed and sadly, also didn’t provide it as much as I should have. I think finding that balance for all is us is an incredible challenge.
    In the meantime, hugs and I am sorry you are in this space. I appreciate your forthright sharing!!
    Much love my friend

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Kindra, I know what this is like and I want to hug you. When my mum died where I worked at the time were totally cruel about it and told me (in other words) to buck up. Needless to say I left but to say it’s damaged me is an understatement.


      1. Thank you, I know you would. When it comes to grieving I know some people find it hard to understand. That doesn’t mean they have to be an arse hole about it.
        Sending love and hugs your way. I know it doesn’t help but words are shit. ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. There are many times you will approach the new normal it sucks and its sad but its true,my heart bleed so when my mother died, the word mourning doesn’t even come close to what I felt,Big hugs I sending you,you know where to find me my door is always open
    As Sheldon Always

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I wish you’d had people there for you, too. It’s fucking stunning, to lose people in your life because they don’t have the ability to empathize.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Its when your in your in the trenches that counts and most people can’t deal with it
            Christ they can’t even deal with there own
            Shit,its sad but I’m sorry to tell you this but by the time this is over you’ll lose a lot more
            Every time I go through something major they drop like flies


  4. I’m so sorry my love… all of these comments are spot on. There is no time frame, things will never be the same. You and your sister need to do what ever is right for you, not what makes other people comfortable. Your last comment is right, it’s a new normal, missing a huge part of your lives. There are going to be people who think you should be mourning in a certain way, but no one gets to tell you how to do it. I love and support you, always ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so, so sorry that you are not getting the empathy and the support you need and deserve. I learned a lot about the people around me when my mother died. It was almost as if my mourning was unseemly and uncomfortable for them. I don’t know if they were responding to feeling helpless, just wanted to go back to “normal” or were just ill-equipped to deal with witnessing that much raw emotion. You haven’t just lost your mom, your world has changed, your identity has changed. Becoming a motherless child was hugely profound for me, even at 34. Victorians would wear mourning black for a year– maybe they were smarter about this than we are in our instant culture.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Christine. You know, I believe you’re onto something regarding the Victorian era being smarter than we are now. I love you.


  6. Grieving is a process not a destination. Your sister and you have every right and are worthy of not having someone else’s restrictions for feeling pain placed on you. I am sorry that you are being pressured to contain the uncontainable. You’re right, Vulnerability is strength and courageous. It is imperative and intrinsic for your healing so fuck what anyone else’s thinks, says or does with regards to your own personalised and sacred honouring of your mother ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “You mourned her, and now you seem to be done with all of that sad business. But goddamn it, there is no box big enough for me to stuff my feelings into, and no time table of grieving laid out for me.”
    This part especially really touched me because of something that was said to me…and of something else that was said to my mum after we lost dad. Not the time to share this – but you’re so right…there IS no time limit on grieving. Nobody has the right to demand that of you. Love you. Hurt for you. x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think grieving is something that can, or should be perceived as some task to be completed. We learn to live without our loved ones, but the mourning is never ended. We simply adapt to the new “normal” of their absence. Tara said to me, “I can’t take this. Will we ever be normal again???” And I said, “The absence of Mom is our new normal. We must learn to adjust.”

      Liked by 1 person

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