grief is wet laundry

I braced myself against the washing machine and stared into the dark bundt-cake-tin-shaped pit. My eyes glossed over the blurring, knitted swirl of my damp clothes. The legs of my jeans licked the rib cage of the machine. The thick, syrupy fume of detergent clung to the air. I leaned into the pit and gingerly scooped out a bevy of towels. Socks tumbled from the cluster back into the pit.

The wrung towels sagged, lifeless in my arms. As I laid them into the dryer, I tried to shake a germinating thought. In this mundane moment – where no letters or songs or pictures or candles could haunt me – here, my grief was. Here, my mother was. Here, I wept into soggy rain-scented hands.

Anger swiftly followed suit. I wondered when this unbridled sadness would subside. I lamented that I would never be free from this overwhelming sense of loss. What was it that brought the furrow to my brow and the wetness to my eyes? I kicked the dryer. The metal popped like a mason jar top, thundering as it reclaimed its shape.

A bird’s wings fluttered against the laundry room window as it took flight from the sill. I glanced out at the background, eyeing the day’s uncharacteristic sunniness. I pressed the dryer lid closed, eyes still transfixed on the daffodils in bloom. I remembered how they had wilted the week my mother died. Yet here they were again, canary yellow and petals poised to drink in the afternoon.

I am growing to understand that my grief will come and go as it pleases, and that I must actively move myself towards understanding what it means to me in each moment.

Grief is heavy yet everyday.

Tell me about a recent moment you’ve had that was mundane yet meaningful.

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