Giving and Receiving

My counselor sits across from me in a green wingback chair, her eyes wide and kind behind black cat eyeglasses. Instead of meeting her gaze, I steal glances at the bowl of brittle potpourri to my left. The too-squishy couch feels lopsided beneath me, as unmanageable as my emotions. I’ve spent years trying not to cry in front of other people, and now my counselor is practically begging me to do it, with her understanding smile and inviting silences.

“You’re grieving,” she tells me gently. “Give yourself permission to grieve.”

“Grieve what?” I choke out from behind suppressed sobs. I have a husband who loves me, amazing friends, and a great job. Do I have the right to be grieving?

Another inviting silence.


Two years earlier I sat in a very different office, one that smelled not of potpourri but of rubbing alcohol and latex. 

Click here to read the rest of my essay, Giving and Receiving, on She is Kindred.

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