Friday, August 22, 2014

The smallest words

How many fairy tales begin with a line something like this:

Once upon a time there were a king and queen and they loved each other very much. They had a beautiful baby daughter whom they both adored. But one day the queen stayed in her bed and soon enough, she died.

The king was sad, but after a time he decided to marry again.
The king grieved and eventually decided to marry again.
The king wanted the kingdom to have a queen, so he decided to marry again.

There is a world in those small words. But. And. So.

Grief, I'm discovering, is a long, slow process that I don't know how to describe.

In those words - but, and, so - are a hundred sleepless night. There are gallons of tears. There is an encyclopedia's worth of questions and fears and regrets.

Grief is too big to be captured. It is too variable. It is too complex and contradictory.

So we use the smallest words in our oldest stories to hold a world.

I find myself saying things like:

I miss Kevin with all my heart, but today wasn't too bad.
I would do anything to have him back again and yet I am still here.
This is the most non-negotiable, miserable thing I have ever encountered, so I am trying to figure out how to keep breathing.


I am bereft. But I am still here.
I grieve. And I still breath, though sometimes it feels like I shouldn't.
I love him still. So I figure out how to live. Even if that living means howling, crying and yearning for that which I can no longer have.


(21 weeks. I wish you could come back. I love you. I am still in love with you. I always will be.)

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. But. And. So. But the heart that's broken still beats. And that beating heart says your name. So I limp through another day. Every beat of my heart cries out for you. Every. Single. Beat.

  2. I like your "but" "and" "so" better than the king's. Perhaps that's because I'm a woman. [There I go, judging someone's process. I could edit it out, but who would be fooled?] Your writing is your breathing; keep at it.

  3. Love and breathe. We exist to remember him with you. But. And. So. Breathe.

  4. yes.... for me it's been the same. ... I miss her so, but I laughed today. It was all so horrible, so I keep digging for all the good memories. It feels impossible to get through, and yet I took another step today. Much love!


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