Grief Is Just Love With No Place To Go

“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love.
It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot.
All of that unspent love gathers
in the corners of your eyes,
the lump in your throat,
and in the hallow part of your chest.
Grief is just love with no place to go.”

Ugh. My heart.

When I read this I came unstitched.

Last night, the sloppy mess that I was (again) kept saying “I can’t wait to bury my Dad” – who died in 2012.

So much grief.

So much left unsaid. 25 of my 40 years just wanting to talk about so much with him – all the conversations that never happened. And, in his final days, I had every intention of going to clear the air so we could both carry on with a clear conscience.

So he could take flight with no anchors or regrets.

So we could give each other the apologies we each deserved.

Apologies and acceptance.

It never happened.


“Looking back, I have this to regret,
that too often when I loved, I did not say so.”
– David Grayson

I did this self portrait about a month before he passed away. His entire life he raised birds – exotic & domestic – everything from pigeons to parrots.

Feathers and birds will always be symbolic of him to me.

I’m going to need to gather all of them over the next month to help me spread my wings.

There’s so very much that needs to be buried.


  1. I apologize for not fully paying attention to details before. Your photographs are AMAZING. I know you have much else on your mind but your talent is insane! It makes all mine look so juvenile lol. I guess I’ve been glancing over them assuming you pulled them off of somewhere else like people do. I am watching the calendar because I am eager to see you off to recovery. I relate way too much with your current condition and I remember even showers being a drag if I even got in there. That bottle sucks life out of you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 And not juvenile at all!!!! There’s no levels when it comes to expressing yourself. Photography is as therapeutic to me as writing (to the point where I had to write into my rehab that they HAD to allow me to bring my camera with me). Obviously no pics of others or sensitive stuff…but it’s therapy. Thanks for your kind words…I’m blown away by knowing I’m not alone and connecting with people out there who have been through it, are going through it, or are on their way to it. I never expected it. It’s helping me SO MUCH. So, thank you. xo

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Xo! And I saw something you said somewhere about fear of withdrawal complications. I dont know if your place will do but Ativan worked wonders for me. Slept like a baby. Glad you are taking camera. I am actually heading out with mine. Peace and love. Hang in there! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amazing 🙂 Have fun! As an aside, you may enjoy this project I did years ago – watch the videos if you can. Another thing I need to come to terms with, since I’ve never truly wrapped it up, or continued it. Part of the journey. But it was the *MOST* fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. Going to post about it soon, I think. xo

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hi Shawn. I looked at the site and some of your Facebook pages as well. You know what is so funny is that I always have this idea in my head about recovery photos. Like people breaking out of wine bottles or glasses, broken handcuffs, etc. Of course my Photoshop skills need improvement, but I actually just started using it so I know I can. Anyway, the DrawingHope photos are amazing and I watched a couple of the videos. I hope you get back at it. And I think what you need to do at some point is your own Hope / Recovery self-portrait. You are such a beautiful soul. Kick that mother F&($%’s ass (the bottle) and get better! The world needs more people like you. Peace and Love. – Janet

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you so much Janet!! You should *definitely* work on some recovery photos! It’s such great therapy – visualization is so helpful (for me, anyhow) – and turning emotions into photos just works (again, for me LOL). I love your idea. Your kind words made me cry last night, which is why I haven’t responded until now. Thank you xo

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You’re welcome. Don’t cry- your relief is right around the corner. I wish you could get there sooner, but that’s just my own impatient thinking I guess. Feel good today, no matter what… because you know where you are headed- into recovery! That is so awesome in itself!! 🙂


  2. It’s a beautiful self portrait. This quote is one of my favorites when it comes to the grief I am feeling. It does feel like you have all this love still there, I didn’t stop loving Adam, but now it has nowhere to go. My dog doesn’t like to be hugged as tightly as I would like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I am SO sorry you are going through this. And I wish I had something – anything – to say that could help you. Or a way to help you channel your grief somewhere to have some relief. So happy to hear you have a dog, though – they’re the best medicine. I have four LOL.


  3. When my father died, I mourned more for the relationship we never had and words we never said than for anything else. That, to me, is the most painful grief: to grieve for what never was.

    You have a beautiful way with words.

    Liked by 1 person

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