Forms: Empty Spaces & Vacant Spots

September 18, 2020

Paperwork can be harder than simply filling out empty spaces and checking boxes. Simple forms can turn into soul crushing realities and reminders. When you’ve experienced loss and grief, it seems to show up in the most routine and unplanned places. 

School paperwork. 

Medical forms. 

Extra-curricular paperwork.

Order Forms.

Tax papers.

Library Applications.  

Mundane forms suddenly become little daggers, poking both your heart and soul. They show up, short and precise, and remind you of the things and people you’re missing. They remind you of the pain and longing that absences create. 

It could be a simple inquiry such as emergency contacts. It could be more complex questions such as events that have impacted your child. Usually, it’s the kind of form that ends up leaving empty spaces. With no answer to fill in, because there is no longer someone to fill that spot. 

Empty spaces.

Those empty spaces on the paper, match and mirror the empty spaces in our hearts. It’s a visual representation of the absence of those we loved. A concrete example of the vacancy in our lives, just like the blank spot on the paperwork. 

Empty spaces.

Vacant spots.

Unanswered questions.

Blank. Unfilled. Void. 

Empty spaces and blank spots that look and feel a lot like grief. Exposing the raw pieces of loss. Ripping them open, feeling just like it did when it was new and fresh. Funny how a piece of paper can suddenly make you feel things. Deep things. Noticeable things. Meaningful things. 

Empty spaces on a form, and empty spaces in our hearts. 

Grief shows up everywhere, friends. Be kind and patient with one another. 

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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