I was asked to personify my grief. To give it a voice, to let it tell me what it knows, to let Grief introduce itself to me. This is what I came up with.

Hello, I am grief.

You have known me all of your life, and I’ve shown myself to you in many different ways. But still, I am always there. I am the one person that has been constant in your life. The only one who really knows you and understands you. Everyone else has turned their back on you – but not me.

Hello, I am grief. I was there when you realized that every foundation you had was built of straws. And the big bad wolf huffed and puffed and showed you the truth. Your dad built his portion of abuse and lies. Your mom’s on turning the other way and choosing him over you, she built hers up with false disbelief. Your brothers and cousins joined the adult games. It started even with your step-uncle – and everyone taught that love was built out of straw and lies. So the wolf huffed and he puffed and he blew your core down. You were stripped raw, empty. And still, I was there.

Now I know that you blame me for the lies you held onto for so long. But know I am your friend. Your best friend actually."

I placed my hand on the door, as if I could touch Grief. My forehead rested next to it. And my heart ached in longing. He continued.

"Your foundation crumbled and every other sphere of your life – church, relationships, education – shook and you had no time to recover before those, too, fell. Everything was made of straw or wood. And when the straw collapsed and created a small spark, it illuminated and spread through the wood. Everything was lost. You were lost. And you didn’t know how to pick up the pieces.

But not me, I was made of brick. That wolf tried to huff and puff, but it wouldn’t work. And you huffed and puffed at me but I wouldn’t go away. I know you tried to blame me. But hold on, please. Won’t you understand? When all of that happened – I was still there with you. For you. You were not alone. I slithered into every crack and shattered piece and tried to help you find wholeness again. You were hurting and I wanted to hurt with you. I understand you. I know who you are. I know why you want to avoid me, to push me away. But I am your best friend. I am here for you.

So let me in. Your heart has been shattered, broken. So let me in. I will fill every crevice of your heart. And it will ache. But I am your friend. I will not give you empty words or lies. I will give you truth and wholeness and a pain that frees you."

I unlocked the door and unsure, slowly opened the door. Grief looked up at me and in that moment he changed into a girl with bright blonde hair and rainforest eyes. It pours in the rainforest. The girl took my hand into hers and she stood across from me. As I looked down at her and she up at me, I knew that Grief was a part of me. I saw understanding in her eyes. I saw the whole universe in those eyes. She said

"I am Grief. I am your best friend. I will be there for you always. I will help you get through this. If you let me in."