Grief is relentless. I know, I know, I’m preaching to the choir because you already know grief pretty well. It feels weird even putting grief and pretty in the same sentence. Grief is not pretty (but you already know this). Grief has talons and fangs that glow in the dark. Grief rolls and roils, gouges then giggles as you struggle to pick yourself up off the bedroom floor. Grief leaves track marks all over your body, scars that never completely fade. It’s a tattoo you didn’t pay to have embedded on your skin. Often grief is described as an ocean. This makes sense since grief almost drowns you then tosses you onto the shore’s rim. One minute it leaves you alone (I was about to call Grief she but that would be mean. No woman is that cruel) then moments later, you are gripping the sheets, your body folded in the fetal position. There is no escape. There are no cliff notes. Grief takes its time with us. Has its way. Runs its ragged fingers through our hair; leaves scuff marks on the floor where we’ve stepped. I wish I could make this pretty. Tell you it’ll be fine. It WILL be fine but not before it’ll be horrifying and shitty. Grief is shitty. Makes our hands stink. Makes us tell our girlfriend we’ll be ready in an hour, then crawl back beneath the pillow to snot, moan and ache. Grief is bone-crushing. I wish I could phrase it better, but it is what it is. Grief is what it is but I don’t have to tell you that. You already know. You’ve already watched your nephew’s soccer game and without warning began to cry because Mama wasn’t there to see him score a goal. You’ve already missed a few days of work. Lost the weight. Wondered how you could cry for an hour, then cried for the rest of the day. I guess what I’m trying to say is there it is. Grief, ugly and mean. Huge and wet. Swallowing and shoving. Vast. And there you are, staying afloat. Maybe bobbing like a plank of sunlight on the waves. Head barely above water. Sometimes managing to swim.