Short Story titled "The Gravity of Grief"
She closed her eyes, scared, unknowing, what was this sudden feeling of fear and pain taking over her every breath. What happened? Her eyes open. There is no one in sight. There is just darkness around. She keeps checking to make sure her eyes are open, what is this darkness? She wondered if she was in a dream or even worse, a nightmare. But, this was all too real. She knew it was real and the fear grew. She wondered what would happen if she just gave into that fear, instead of fighting it. Would it take her over, would she forever be fearful, or would it free her?
Along with the fear, there was pain. A deep hole in her heart that seemed to physically hurt. Not like anything she ever felt before. It was almost like someone took a piece of her soul and promised to never return it.
Options, I have to have options, she thought. Maybe I can try to speak. “Hello? Am I alive?” There was no answer but when she spoke, she knew that she was still alive. She just didn’t feel like she was herself anymore. I need to fight this, she thought to herself, I cannot feel like this forever, this is too painful.
Now here was the question, to succumb to the pain and the fear that overwhelms her or to fight it. There is no certainty that one or the other is the correct decision, but a decision has to be made either way. Being stuck like this was not an option if she wanted to live longer.
“I am scared,” she said, hoping for a reply. But there was just silence. So, she started to fight, she tried to push the fear down and ignore the pain and it felt better. She decided to try to take a step forward but there was something pushing her back and the fear came back stronger than before and the pain was unbearable. She fell to her knees, crying, screaming, and then without even knowing it she gave into it all. She gave in to the fear, the pain, the heartache and she let herself feel everything.
There was a moment when she could see she had a choice; she could see some light in the darkness. She knew now that this was her chance to fight and to move forward out of the dark, but the pain was keeping her down. Had she let it take complete control over her? Had she gone too far into darkness? She lost hope for a moment, she was not strong enough, she needed help and she could not help herself. “Bullshit!” she yelled. “This is not how it ends!”
She slowly stood up, the ache seemed to want to push her down but she continued to move forward. She put one foot in front of the other and did not stop walking until she saw it. The darkness was behind her, and there was only light and warmth and a strong feeling of safety and love in front of her. That’s when she knew where she was and how she got there. There is no guarantee that she won’t be back in that dark place again, but she knew now that there was a way out.
© 2022 Caitlin Anderson