Summer always has a smell to me-ripe jalapenos and bratwurst on the grill.  As the sun starts to set while watering the plants, I get a soft but noticeable smell of the green peppers that are ready to be picked.  As I hold a pile of them gently in my hand I have an unexpected guest-happiness.  It’s been two and a half years since my grandfather passed away and while there are still moments of sitting in my shower crying, the smell of my city garden always reminds me of him. The small green and red peppers are tiny packages of memories from my childhood picking vegetables with him.  The rolodex of moments flips on its own as I start to worry the snapshots in my mind are fading. 

The amount of combined grief my body holds feels all-encompassing at times.

 I am a firm believer that grief never goes away, it just changes color.  People often ask as they are being swallowed up with grief when they will get over it.  It’s not so much a get over thing as a “buckle up” we are going through this thing.  As you allow yourself to heal you will also run into your own unexpected guest.  Maybe it is happiness, forgiveness or just relief.  Welcome the moment in, as the journey has been hard and a break is well deserved. 

Grief is long.  Grief is hard.  Welcome in a guest.