Nesting Doll

My grandmother’s death is a big grief — the size of, maybe, a
medicine ball. Anything bigger than that is no longer grief, it is
hopelessness, which is generally much worse. Nobody talks
about it, it being hopelessness, without lying at least a little bit.
I do not want to lie, anymore. Lying is a plum sized grief.
When I was younger I treated truth carelessly and I cannot tell
you why, only that the guilt never tasted quite as bitter as it
should have. Guilt is a watermelon sized grief. Premature
forgiveness is a peach. There is something terribly fitting about
eating loss when you are able to. I have not always been able to.
Misplacing love for the first time was a wad of taffy as big as
my head. I crawled away with a cavity on my canine but at least
I crawled away. The trick is to stop believing you will come
away unscathed and, instead, prepare for the inevitability of
upheaval. One time my grandmother asked me if she was the
reason that I was always so sad and I told her the truth, which
was that I don’t know why I’m always so sad. What I should’ve
said, what she probably needed to hear, was you are the opposite
of what is misprinted in my foundation, but I’ve never really
been one for saying the right thing at the correct time, which,
of course, is why I write, why I am here at all, meditating on
grief, trying to say something that sounds nicer than I would
like you to come home, now. I would like you to take your shoes off
by the coat rack and leave me notes on the kitchen counter, brag
about me to your friends as I turn into a strawberry, take me to
terrible matinee comedies and pretend we both hated them. I
promise that, if you do, I’ll stop talking to loose change on the
sidewalk, poking at the birth mark on my chest that isn’t there
anymore, eating the flowers we once planted so carefully by the
big tree. Dolly, they taste so sweet, and fresh. Like a place I could
finally be happy in.