The shape of grief is a cyclone; a whirlwind. It’s a constant twirl that shows us each of its facets, in time. 

Too dense for “thoughts and prayers,” too deep to understand.  

Too painful for trite platitudes, too large to ignore.  

The shape of grief is a surgical mask. A painful reminder of a bygone “normal.” A gaping, salted wound that won’t heal because it keeps being ripped open again and again.  

Too familiar to be removed, too enmeshed in trauma to stand for one more second. 

More divisive than it should be, more complicated than anyone could fathom. 

The shape of grief is a worry, another crease in the amygdala of a mind already on overdrive.  

Too active to yield to good sleep, too intense for words and expression. 

A Tia hoping her sister’s littles are safe and sound.

A parent sobbing in a parking lot after dropping off their kiddos on the last day of school. 

A person about their day, shopping in a race against time to get in and get out before becoming the next casualty.

Faith leaders, reflecting, as they cling to what little hope they have left to share.

Healthcare staff wondering when their hospital will be the next to handle a mass casualty event.  

Teachers who have to work like it’s just another day, because it IS just another day in the USA.

Students who shoulder the weight of horrifying possibilities; the weight of a nation that has failed them.

These are the images of pain and loss. This is the shape of grief.

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