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Grief Is A Bruise That Heals—Here’s How

Grief. It’s a trauma, an injury, a complete stalling of life in an instant. And then…grief becomes a bruise. The biggest you’ve ever worn.

It aches and deepens, starts out with an initial pain—

Expected or not, it hurts.

And the pain grows at first. In fact, it multiplies like nothing else.

We feel it most in the unexpected places. When we shower and brush our hands over the darkening collection of hurt. When we walk beneath the unchanged skies, where life continues all the same, much to our confusion.

When we bump that bruise and wince as we try to continue in this life, too.

Oh, those bumps.

The times we hear a song you danced to, drive past a place you loved to eat, feel the cotton of the shirts you wore, hear your name called out in a dream, only to wake in the bed we once shared… and remember.

Those are the painful bumps. In fact, painful is the greatest understatement of all. There’s nothing like this. And I won’t try to say there is.

And over time, the same circle of bruising remains… but it changes. The soreness deepens, the edges blur, and it sets within our skin, slightly more bearable, but almost large and uglier than before. That’s the strange thing about grief.

Time sets in, takes over. And contrary to popular belief, it does not heal all wounds.

Again… it changes. That bruise actually dissolves. It absorbs into our very being.

Here’s the thing: Grief never leaves. It gets absorbed. It starts out one way and simply changes as we go.

One day, we realize those bumps still hurt, but differently.

Because, after all, when we think about it, that bruise came from blood which was pumped from our hearts and then collected immediately when life hit hard.

Then it dissolved and reabsorbed, welcomed back to the body to return to the heart.

And so, somehow…the hurt becomes love.

The pain never changes, never leaves, never disappears. Instead, it becomes something else: Love. It comes home to the heart and pumps again.

And those places we used to bump that bruise, turn our tired heads, and turn immediately to tears…

Now we pause. We say, with the comfort of that person’s arms around us: “Oh, there it is. There’s the overwhelming love which used to only be pain. There’s the love which collected as a bruise. Now it beats through me…as you.

And somewhere, you are sitting so fittingly beneath a sunset changing from deep purple to lighter yellow, just as those old bruises do…same old smile, saying, “There you go. You see? I’m not gone, I’ve simply changed shape; transformed. Now, I am, in fact, part of your beating heart.”