The Thing about Sadness: It doesn't just disappear to make room for more.
When you experience either continual tragic events or even a single, life shattering tragedy, as long as you live, tears and sadness are just moments away at any given time. I admit, you often do not realize it. . .until you very much do.
Even when you seem happy, almost believe the sadness has passed, there will be moments where you're reminded it never leaves, never releases the grasp. . .
Thankfully, if you're tough, you can and will be reasonable about it. . .work on channeling it and so forth.
It isn't as if people have an unlimited space to store sadness, you know? It is quite a tangible thing, though rather invisible (yet not).
Sometimes you might think of it. . .say in the middle of normal conversation, and you aren't sure where to go, what to say or what to do. You jumble the conversation and know. . . you failed. Someone knew but didn't. They never know enough, and there is no need for them to know.
You didn't keep it together. It didn't make sense, and you know folks should not have to understand, bear it or deal with it at all.
As time moves on, you may be faced with inevitable, new tragedies, and you may think things like, "How can this bother me so much after what I've lived through?" It seems a fair question until you better understand sadness. You may struggle to forgive yourself for even being able to be broken after some tiny thing or new larger thing with something larger that looms in the past.
During the aftermath of losing three siblings in fire and then my father from 2007 to 2009, to say I searched my soul would be the understatement of a lifetime.
One of many questions that took some years for me to answer happened to be:
"After this, how can I ever care about anything else?"
What I know now, so many years later, is sadness builds up.
You internalize it, store it, deal, hide it and squish it all in. . .and the larger things you managed to push down inside are concealed, but they leave room for nothing more. . .and suddenly, you find everything else, small things, marginal things cut much deeper than they should.
The reason is because you can only be so full of sadness. There is no where to "hide" years upon years of it.
My capacity for despair is as full as it can be and has been for many years.
No matter what else has come since those few years of my life, large or small, I've felt them all fully and even more than before. More. Because there is no where left to tuck "that" moment or "another" experience.
They simply bounce in and then flow over, mixed up with what used to be stored so well in there. What else can I expect?
There is no where else to store "more" sadness here.
Sadness is real, and it has a weight and can be felt as surely as I can touch a face or hold a hand. If you leave with nothing else, leave with that piece of knowledge.
It exists in a way that takes up space just like our memories, furniture and family. And more's the pity that we do not seem to have infinite space that can store all of the heartbreak we sometimes come across.
Previous Sadness doesn't empty out into space to make room for more without consequence.
That is no way to judge sadness. I have no idea what another's capacity for it is at all.
In 9 years, I have lost two younger brothers, my 19 year old sister, my father and grandfather, but when one day, I remember I dropped my phone in a pail of milk, and I nearly cried.
I. Nearly. Cried.
Cried over a phone, over the cost to replace something that can be replaced. Knowing that this reaction makes no sense in the scope of my life changed nothing. It made me sad, overwhelmed and there you have it.
How does a person who has lost more than half of her immediate family even care when a phone drops in a pail or a goat on her farm becomes ill?
The photos on it are with people you still have with you. Take them again. The phone is a machine. Save, and then buy another.
"Hush," I told myself. It is a phone. Things are things.
Anything going in has to go somewhere.
I cannot hold more.
It has to go out these days. I cannot seems to hold or store sadness anywhere else but outside of me. So it comes out all over now and again.
A Sadness unto Death, which reminds me of something Thomas Hardy might have penned but didn't.
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