The castle

There's something they don't tell you about grief 

how it hits you out of nowhere

while you are watching a movie,

or at the supermarket, 

going about your daily life 

when all of a sudden it’s like a stab 

in the heart 

and the same intensity of emotion 

crashes over you just like the day 

you lost your love.

They don't tell you about the emptiness

or the frustration that comes when 

you just want to reach into a picture

go back to that very moment

where you could touch them, 

breathe, 

laugh, 

love.

Or that you almost feel them 

right there at the end of your fingertips 

but not quite.

But they also don't tell you 

how in the sadness

you find strength

how full you will feel when it's over

you will feel them within you.

The wisdom they shared

the memories

all of that is real

it still exists and so do they

even though you can't see them, 

feel them, 

they are still there

living and breathing 

with you

their energy makes part of you.


You will learn 

how to pick up each piece

keep living

even when you don't know if you can

or how

or where you will find the strength.


Day by day

you'll put yourself back together

the furniture in your castle might have moved

the view from your window

strangely different

sometimes foggy

often raining,

and although you might feel

you are missing a part of you

the part that is your loved one who isn't there, 

if you look closely

and you peel away the sadness

you will see you have also gained some rooms in your castle

the castle that is your life.

And as you go

as you gain 

and lose 

and fall down 

and stand up

rooms in your castle will be redecorated extensions to your castle added

and maybe some rooms 

will only be visited sometimes

sometimes more frequent

and sometimes not at all

one of those rooms is grief

one might be sadness.

And there is one that is empty

no matter how much you try and fill it

that room will always remain empty

don't worry that is how that room is meant to be

when you accept it as being its perfect self

you can start to accept you 

for being your perfect self

Never fear 

and don't neglect your other rooms 

when you are lost in the darkness of grief

the rooms that make up each memory you have lived

the rooms of celebrations

of wins

of every experience that shaped you

of every experience that contributed to the richness that is your life

the ones that left you bruised

and the ones that are at the very top of the castle

when you were filled with such joy

it felt as if you really were

on top of

the world

herself.

Climb the stairs to the top

explore the dusty shelves

visit the dark and damp basement

enjoy the sun streaming through the windows

before retreating to the shade of a hallway

that you don't visit unless

you are too hot.

Without rain

you don't appreciate the sun

without the darkness

there is no light

your castle has it all

and you never need to fear one

of your rooms

you never need to lock a door forever

explore

nourish

treasure

love.

Treat yourself with the same love

that you would your castle

let her grow

expand

change

let her be.

-Ashleigh Kendall