Grief, A Grenade Without a Pin

September 14, 2021

As a person consumed with grief I’ve found that people treat me like I’m some kind of bomb that is about to explode, like some kind of grenade that’s pin has already been pulled and it’s one toss from full destruction. Like I’m fragile and scary. Like I’m dangerous and uncomfortable. Like I’m too many unknowns and full of instability. 

I lost my mom and then had to endure the consequences of that loss, which meant losing more than my mother. It meant losing pieces of myself, portions of my future, and people that had once always been there. People run from natural disasters and grief is one of them. They want to comfort and support and assist but also, the discomfort of all of that makes it easy to disappear. It makes things complicated. Like both sets of people are trying to shed the pain, heartbreak and harsh truths but it doesn’t work that way. 

Even the most confident souls before grief become riddled with doubt and confusion. We stand raw and broken for everyone to see while each person that looks tries to ignore the bleeding souls that stand before them. I didn’t want to hold grief. I didn’t want a life that didn’t include my mother. I didn’t want to be this metaphorical bomb in the lives of those that surround me, but here I am. 

I know my ache is uncomfortable. I know my longing is visible. I know I have been reduced to crumbled bits of what I was before. I know I’ve lost my spark, my fun and my charisma. I know those truths more than you do, believe me. In losing her, everything has changed. Me. My friends. My support system. My future. Every single thing. 

I wish I didn’t look like the movies standing before you as the hollowed shell of a person holding the most sensitive piece of destruction. The type of scene where onlookers look in both fear and pity. The kind of scene that looks like only failure and casualties. This is what grief does. It breaks you and makes everyone around you debilitated by terror and sympathy. 

I need a rescue squad. I need someone to come and put the pin back in. I need someone to run to me while everyone else is running the opposite direction taking cover. I need someone to defuse and disassemble the added disasters that could come from this. I need to be saved. 

And all you have to do to save me is stay here, with me, in my mess and brokenness. In my uncomfortable heartbreak and my despised loss. 

I might look like a bomb about to explode and I might feel like a grenade with no pin, but what I most authentically am is the remnants of an earthquake that’s grounded everything. I’m the dust that remains in her absence. I’m the powder that’s left of her life. 

I’m not contagious or dangerous, I’m broken and grieving. They might look the same, but they are different. Instead of running away, look closer, then sit with me, it’s the very thing I need.

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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