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Grief is Physical


Day 34: Grief is Physical


I have been searching for years for a worthy description of the physicality of grief. I have finally found one in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s recent work, Notes on Grief, which she wrote following the sudden death of her beloved father in 2020. Thank you @chimamanda_adichie

for your raw and honest account (see below). Finding words for such an experience is usually impossible.

“I did not know that we cry with our muscles. The pain is not surprising, but its physicality is: my tongue unbearably bitter, as though I ate a loathed meal and forgot to clean my teeth; on my chest, a heavy, awful weight; and inside my body, a sensation of eternal dissolving. My heart—my actual physical heart, nothing figurative here—is running away from me, has become its own separate thing, beating too fast, its rhythms at odds with mind. This is an affliction not merely of the spirit but of the body, of aches and lagging strength. Flesh, muscles, organ are all compromised. No physical position is comfortable. For weeks, my stomach is in turmoil, tense and tight with foreboding, the ever-present certainty that somebody else will die, that more will be lost.”

--Excerpt from Notes on Grief, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2021).



Welcome to my #100dayproject. I am providing a daily offering on #grief, in honor of each person who has trusted me with their story and wisdom during their #griefjourney. I hope that others may benefit from simple and straightforward talk about a topic that can be difficult. Thanks for following and/or sharing.

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