My papaw passed away last week. (Not from Covid-19, and it is an emotional equivalent of one of those finger-stab-machine blood tests to feel like I have to explain that every single time I give someone the news.) We knew this was coming. We knew likely it would be this year. Once this all got started, we all hoped he could hold out until we could all be together (as long as it was right for him).

Pictured: A plastic turtle glued to some petrified wood. My papaw was crafty.

Grief is a strange thing. It has its own timing, its own methods. It rollercoasters and laughs and cries and screams and tells stories and reaches out and digs deep within and wounds and aches and ultimately, hopefully, heals. It is a manifestation of love. Not that bullshit that you don’t know how much you love someone until they are gone, but more of a way to a closure of that love as it existed when my papaw was alive.

I don’t know what to say next. I have teared up and lost my breath and smiled in writing these few paragraphs. Grief is here with me, and I am in its hands. I cannot rush this journey, this process. I can only let it take me to the end and discover what is there.