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Thick Morning Fog

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

I was jolted awake by the phone on the bed side stand. Four o’clock am. The hospital voice on the other end gave me the details of a gentleman who had died and his widow chose my funeral home to care for her loved one. As I exchanged my pajamas for dress clothes my mind shifted into funeral director mode. I had done this hundreds of times, getting dressed and walking through my house in the dark, being guided by the glow of digital clocks and street lights. I knew the path to the door that separated my home from my office. It was through the office that I continued to the garage.

This night felt different. The familiar noises; the hums of the night seemed muffled. There was a heaviness to the peace of the predawn hour. The funeral director couldn’t dwell on it, I had a job to do

I climbed into the van, backed out of the garage and was immediately sucked into the thickest densest fog I had ever seen. The parking lot lights were faint and dim. They cast an eerie glow as they shone through the murky, thick haze. Slowly I accelerated through the parking lot to the street. The further away from the lights I crept, the denser the heavy fog became. I was surrounded by a deep murkiness, but I had to keep going forward. Slowly and surely, I trekked along the white line along the side of the road. As I clutched the steering wheel and my knuckles turned white, I knew this thirty-minute trip would turn into a much longer ordeal. I realized the only guidance I could rely on was my familiarity of the route to the hospital, the lines in the center and along the side of the road, my intuition and my desire to arrive safely at my destination.

“Grief is much like the thick morning fog.

You breathe it, swim in it, drown in it-or at least you want to drown, but for some damned reason, you keep living, breathing, walking. One foot in front of the other even though you can’t see the path ahead. You tiptoe, and so does everyone else……” (Dray, Stephanie, The Women of Chateau Lafayette, Loc4511, Kindle Version).

Grief, like fog, is so disorienting. You can’t see anything but the fog/ grief. What should be familiar is shrouded in doubt and hesitancy. Nothing feels the same. You don’t even feel the same. Like following the lines on the side of the road, you put one foot in front of the other, going through the motions of daily living. You breathe and you walk.

When you are in the thick fog of grief, rely on routine to give you some normalcy to your day. Continue with the routine of getting up in the morning, taking a shower, eating meals. These daily habits will become the sign that you are indeed living even when steeped in grief. Even though your heart is broken, tiptoe through your day, breathing, moving and living.

Just as quietly as fog settles in, silently it lifts away. The weight of grief is heavy and the impossibility of living is real. Eventually, the smothering fog of it begins to fade away. The pain that engulfs you will lessen. The moments of lightness begin to outlast the devastation. You will catch glimpses of hope as the sun begins to burn off the fog.


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