I was thirty-six years old when my first husband, Scott, died in a motorcycle accident. I was upside down for a while. I took me a long time to turn myself around.
Eventually I realized that holding onto grief took a toll. For my sanity, for my children, I needed a break from the constant, overwhelming torture of loss. I started to think of my grief as a tangible thing; if I could hold it, and I could feel it, I could release it. I needed a place to store my grief, a bucket I could shed my tears into and then put away, so I could function, so I could manage the new life I was constructing.
My grief bucket gets fuller every year. Since my husband’s death, I have lost my uncle, my father and my mom.
I imagine someday I will need a grief dumpster, like the ugly metal bins lined up behind supermarkets and busy restaurants. Or maybe a storage shed, a strong, four-sided contraption with a high-pitched roof to hold all the pain and longing.
In the meantime, I will cry into this bucket until I outgrow it and move on.