I know that place where night fades into day and day gives way to night. I have rested in the relief that another day is finished and dreaded the moment the sun steals my night.

Benjamin Stopped that day 4.8I stopped the day death took them, but the day didn’t stop. The day pulled me into night, not just any night, but my darkest night.

I was in disguise come dawn. I was pulled out of my night and pushed into the living of day. But living had changed. Death forever altered life.

I put on my costume and straightened my tie, walked out the door to a world where I no longer lived. And I hoped no one would catch me in the night of day.

The moment that day subsided into night I could finally exhale. All day I could barely breathe. I held so much inside. I was walking the world I once knew, but knew no more. I spoke the same words, but a different language. The sounds of the world around me did not fit the sound of the world within me.

Grief is surreal. Or maybe it is life lived outside of loss that is surreal. There is a famous story by an ancient Chinese philosopher, Chuang Tzu. He said he dreamed he was a butterfly, but when he woke he wasn’t sure if he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man or man dreaming he was a butterfly. Which is which? Is death surreal or is life the dream?

The night makes sense to me. The days had become senseless. I scurried from scene to scene filling my hours and finding relief only when I could empty into night. After all was said and done, I could finally fall into night and say nothing, do nothing. That was the time everything came to be.

I could be sad. I could be in tears. I could be angry. I could be alive to my deadness. I could be…I simply could be whatever I needed to be. The night let me be.

Day before yesterday I was able to do. But yesterday came and took the day. I couldn’t hold the ones I love anymore. I couldn’t make my son breakfast or get him ready for school. I couldn’t wake him with a kiss or read him a book at night. Day before yesterday took my day and left me in night.

I wake before dawn even to this day. The sun rises from the mountain behind my window.

IBenjamin Grief is Surreal 4.8I felt like a visitor in the day. I hid, hoping no one would see the night that held me. I made my way through small talk, trivial pursuit and wristwatch streets. I stood in line in cafes incognito. I blended into the day until night. And at night I blended into my sorrow.

I prefer to cry alone. And I prefer to cry at night. Words spoken in the silence of night emptied into my solitude. These words were rich in texture, expansive in depth. They came for a place that is far from this place and land in a land beyond this land. Night is another land and I could walk in peace in my pieces. I didn’t have to hide my pieces.

Then, one day I no longer needed to live incognito. I no longer needed to pretend. I don’t know what happened. My guess is I couldn’t take it anymore. I had no more energy to disguise my being by what everyone else expected me to do.

When I surrendered to the night, the day dawned. And my solitude was no longer solitary. In the light of day I found others living in their night. I saw the reflection of their sorrow that I saw in my own night – night after night. There was a familiar echo that only emptiness makes. The sound of their sorrow was full and textured that was recognizable to the touch. For I had touched that sorrow and cried that cry.

I could hear loss in their voice and see it in their eyes because it was my voice, my eyes. When I stepped into the light of my pain and sorrow I found others living in night searching for day. A real day. An authentic day. A day of no pretense. A day where they could say it hurt, it still hurts and I will carry this hurt for the rest of my life.

I am no longer waiting for night. I no longer hold on through the day. I have found my way to be…to be real. And in the realness I have found moment that has nothing to do with either day or night. I have found the now that is now me. I am who I am wherever I am be it night or day. I do not need to hide my true being or the depths of my loss disguised in my doing. I can just be right here, right now.


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