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  • Writer's pictureEmma Harman

How to carry a hole

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

"Carrying a Hole" - its an oxymoron. How does one carry a hole?

Usually when we think of carrying something we think of carrying weight, substance, bulk. How can one carry a hole? I guess we can carry something with a hole in it, but you cant carry just the hole. In the context of grief though, "Carrying a Hole" makes perfect sense. We carry a hole everywhere we go. A hole in our hearts, a hole in our lives where someone used to be. A hole in our beds, where our partners slept. A hole in our families, a hole in our social groups, a hole in our decisions, a hole in our holidays, a hole in our homes, a hole in our plans, a hole in our dreams, a hole in our sense of self.... Its a big hole and it is exhausting carrying it around. You can't put it down either, for a breather. You cant fill it up or put a patch over it. You can't hand it to someone else.

Over time, the hole becomes easier to carry somehow. It is always there though. The person you miss doesn't come back. You don't stop missing them either. We just get used to their absence. We get used to the weight of the hole. We get used to the loss of them. When significant dates loom - anniversaries, birthdays, milestone events, we feel their loss more keenly. The hole gets heavier again and we keep on carrying it.

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