Grief is one of the most thoughtful of all companions I’ve found in my life. 

He comes and sits next to me, waiting until my eye catches his, and then a knowing look passes over his face as the tears flow freely. 

He stays as long as I ask, and never feels rushed or inconvenienced when I have to say goodbye in order to put on a happy face. 

Grief comes along when someone hands you a grenade and pulls the pin, and he helps pick up the pieces and holds them until you’re strong enough to put them back into place. 

And grief understands when you invite anger, shame, pity, loathing, or depression to come and spend the day as well. He sits—a perfect addition and wallflower—waiting till the end to embrace you as a friend. 

He doesn’t mind a messy cry, or one that is pushed back until later, and he is more alive when the weeping comes from the bottom of existence than any other emotion can come. 

And finally, grief is gracious, because he knows when it is time to leave. He calls to peace and love, inviting them in no earlier than when his shoes are tied and his sweater donned to venture back into the world. 

And I always know Grief’s face, and that knowing look he gives me when he comes by to check on my heart. I embrace him, knowing he will leave, and he, knowing too that his time is short, holds on only as tight as I do, waiting, never quite letting go first, but when I am ready.