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Month 4: An Open Breakup Letter to Grief

"I don't want you anymore"
By Mayim Bialik     Published on 09/18/2015 at 3:03 PM EST

Month 4

Oh, I’m sorry, Grief. I think there’s been some misunderstanding. Perhaps I wasn’t entirely clear. I’m often not very clear. I get confused about things. You know how we mortals can be.

So yeah. Here’s the thing, Grief:

I don’t want you anymore.

Don’t take it personally. I understand you have a purpose. You are protective, they tell me, especially at first, after he was taken from me and my mother. You shielded me from tearing everything to shreds in those early weeks and even months. You stopped me from using my rage to push away those who love me. You made it so that I could get out of bed to feed my children. You existed so that I could carry on with the facade we call life long enough to live to see another day, another week, my kid’s 7th birthday, my sons get their first stripes in Tae Kwon Do. My cousin got married. My friend got engaged. Another had a baby. Life went on and you made sure I was able to follow along and move from not being able to go through the motions to going through the motions. Send a card. Write a check for their honeymoon. Pick out baby girl clothes and put them in a box and take it to the post office and don’t scream at the man working for the government who is mean to you. Just put one foot in front of the other. Just live. Don’t give up.

Oh, Grief. I get it. You protected me.

But then you changed. It happened after three months, almost to the day. My mother felt it, too. You follow us in parallel. How clever of you.

You changed.

After 3 months, you got sharp. Rough around the edges. You jabbed at me, you punished me with your claws. I lost the ability to feel comfortable in ways I had gotten used to being a little bit comfortable. I had learned to pretend that I felt okay in social situations just about three months after my father died. I was feeling like I could actually go on living without my father in month 3. But you took that away. I don’t feel like that anymore. Why did you do that?

Month 3 had felt like I was coming in for a landing, if tumultuous and turbulent. I felt like I had mastered you. Then you threw me off your back like the wild stallion you are with no regard for the progress I had made and the struggles I had endured. I was starting to rise again and to persevere and to function better. But now you laugh in my face and you kick me when I am down.

Month 4 has been about being brought so low all over again. A new low, really. All of the things that you protected me from in the first months are now growing and surging like a tidal wave, exponentially increasing. “It’s not a tsunami,” says my rabbi. “It’s not overtaking everything.”

But my rabbi is not me. She doesn’t understand what it’s like to be me and to have known him and to be part of him and all of him. She must not know Grief like I do.

Because if she did, she would not say such things. She would have different advice. She would know the way to make Grief go away. Because I don’t want Grief anymore.

I promise I don’t.

And if I need Grief, I beg to be removed from that need.

So Grief, if you’re listening: forgive me my iniquities and pardon my sins. I’m really sorry this couldn’t work out between us. But I simply don’t want you anymore.

Please go away. Please.

(This is part of an ongoing series by Mayim Bialik chronicling her journey through the year of mourning following her father’s death in April 2015. For previous pieces in this series,  click here.)

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