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Several years ago, I lost a deeply important person in my life. He was quite literally here one day and gone the next. In the hours that followed, shock eventually gave way to a grief that pulsed like an open wound—raw, aching, excruciating to even the slightest touch.
The faintest silver lining was that I was not shattered alone. All of us who had loved him dearly shattered together. Our independent little worlds all stopped spinning that day. Suddenly, no one was worried about mortgage payments or the rough patch in their marriage. Old rifts and annoyances were forgotten. None of it mattered. We were bonded by our tears, by our disbelief, by shared chicken casseroles and funeral plans. We sat around big bonfires in silence. In the wake of the greatest loss of our lives, we had never been closer.
Shift - Memorial - Circle - Worlds - Work
A shift happened after the memorial. Not for us, but for those outside the inner circle. Their worlds started to turn again. They had to get back to work. They were leaving for vacation tomorrow. Their son had a baseball tournament. I remember how confused I was. How odd it felt that their lives were plodding forward, while mine remained frozen in time. The social media posts in the coming weeks of birthday parties and family gatherings felt like they were existing in an alternate universe. My world collapsing was a speedbump for them. Now they continued on smoothly, uninterrupted.
There was only a little group of us left, still warm from the assembly line of hugs, grasping handwritten cards with muted flowers. The ones for whom nothing would ever be the same again.
Bond - Weeks
Our bond became tighter after that. We were never as connected as we were in those weeks. We texted, we called, we checked in often. We were together constantly,...
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