• Kirsten Freeland (Photo: Marnie Lokseth)

My Old Friend the Blues

The wind came back again tonight,

But not the winds of change.

This time it came from loves longing.

My heart longs for you,

And although I don’t know how,

It has separated itself out of my body,

Deciding to keep a safe distance.

So quietly the longing whispers through me,

Trying to be heard,

Searching for a way.

There came a time when the dense cloud of grief dissipated. It was a feeling of relief that even seemed to grant clarity on the future. So when grief circled around again, I was actually surprised. The cloud had transformed into something new. A sporadic and unpredictable version of its old self. I came to resent the process. Whether I saw it as a failure to move on, or an incapacity for further pain, I can't be sure. Likely both. But it was as if my heart would energetically put up a hand and say, "Nope. Not today. Go find someone else to bother". And because that didn't work, without warning, my heart took a leave of absence from my body, with no expected date of return.

It wasn’t until recently that I truly understood grief’s purpose; to dissipate active memories. A built-in emotional mechanism to help us detach from something that will never be again. Looking at grief from that perception has transformed my relationship with it. The intelligence of it alone gives me pause. And although my heart has not quite settled back in yet, I know that it will. As everything changes, maybe grief is the helping hand who actually turns the page. I hear the words of one of my favourite songwriters, Steve Earle, " I can't believe I ever doubted you, my old friend the blues".

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