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Rollercoasters

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

They say that living with grief is like a rollercoaster.


I don't know who "They" are, but I don't think they've experienced grief, or maybe it's just that they've never been on a rollercoaster.


There is no anticipatory excitement to grief, no swooping tummy flips moment, no exhilaration at the end....there is no end. I


It's just a lazy comparison because a rollercoaster goes up and down!


If I had to produce a simile for grief, and I'm not sure if there is a need, I would compare it to walking over a crevasse. I must disclose here that I have never had the misfortune to plunge down a crevasse so I am leaving myself open to disdain from anyone that has, but nevertheless here goes.


Having the earth suddenly open up beneath you, the shock and horror, followed by the helpless falling into darkness, unable to gain a grip on the sides as you hurtle defenceless down the innards of a mountain, sounds similar to those first days of grief to me. The idea that it would never, could never, happen to you followed by the sudden shocking realisation that it was happening, that it was horribly, painfully real. Sitting at the bottom in the darkness feeling like there was no way out and you were going to die there.


Slowly beginning to understand your surroundings and looking for a way out, speaking to people still on the surface and although you can't get up to to them you are happy that they are there and it helps you to remember what the surface looks like. Then realising that other people are in the crevasse with you, they are stuck too, some of them happier than you, some of them much worse, but you are glad to see them and it gives you hope.


Over time you get used to your hole in the earth, maybe you have a little light shaft that helps battle some of the darkness. You have friends down there now. Your friends on the surface are still there, sometimes they come down to visit, or you meet them halfway, but you can never get the whole way up and out.


But life is okay, it's not the same but you begin thinking that you can handle it, and maybe even be a little happy, there's still lots of dark rooms, and sometimes the light doesn't come in at all, but most days there is at least a little sun to chase the shadows away.


And then the land gives way again, you are hurtling down unexpectedly the air pushed painfully from your lungs and the darkness encapsulating you. The only thing that makes it possible to pick yourself up and look for the light is the realisation that you have done it before. You can still see your friends at the surface, they are trying to reach you. They will do soon.


Then you plummet again.


And again.



Not really a rollercoaster.


Probably not really a crevasse either.


Just Grief.




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