it washes over you while you are standing in the christmas aisle at target. while you are looking at little cardboard christmas houses that light up. you are not even thinking about it. and then you are. around you, people are buying string lights and pillow cases and giant bags of cat food. you are pushing your plastic red cart down crowded aisles and then you are crying. in public. you are crying in public. you never cry in public.
it sneaks up on you while you are reading a book to your eight year-old son. bam. there it is. you struggle to read the words, to finish even one sentence. you are too tired to tell him why but you tell him anyway because you can't hide it forever. you finish the chapter, climb out of his bed into your own and fall into a deep, boneless sleep. if you could, you'd sleep forever.
it knocks the wind out of you while you are driving. when the sun is shining and the radio is on and your mind is in seventeen different places. you grip the wheel and ride the wave. you want to pull over but you don't. you roll down the window instead. and you ride the wave.
this is grief.