Grief. People deal with grief in different ways. For me, I visualize it as a pool of water, quiet and still, hidden underground. Every now and then when things are nice and quiet, I visit it. I hike up the river, climb behind a waterfall, go into a hidden cave, follow the hidden marks inside the labyrinth, and pull on the torch mount to open the secret door. Then I’m there. I sit, and I dangle my legs into the water. Absorb a little of it, just for a little while.

Then I leave it, hidden and quiet. I go back to my life until I have a quiet, lonely moment to visit it again.

That’s what grief is, for me. A pool that you can drown in. Waters that I indulge in a little at a time, during the quiet times and lonely nights. Every time I touch that pool, I absorb a little of it, and maybe one day, I’ll reach the bottom of it.

Maybe there is no bottom. It doesn’t matter. It isn’t a goal. There’s no achievement to unlock. But as long as the water is there, I need to go there occasionally. Not for me. Not for the water. Just because.

Author’s note: My father died a few weeks ago, and this was written shortly after that.  Since then I haven’t written for a while.  In the last few days, I’m written several stories.  Expect updates to resume.

Author: Eric Eshleman

I'm not real.

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