We all have memories of the clown in our class, the kid who always made us laugh as he challenged the teacher with a joke or a prank. We all love a clown.

I shared with a friend last night how I feel like a circus clown most of the time. I’ve become quite adept at performing, at exaggerating my expressions and actions, as if I must prove that I have energy continuously gurgling to the top and that ambivalence does not control my whole being. Mimicking the actions of the old me, the woman I was before Ben died, is becoming natural–even though it’s so very unnatural to me. I pretend now. It’s expected of me.

I have already grown weary of living in a world that doesn’t understand my grief. I’m tired of feeling rejected if I allude to my grief. So, I’ll be that clown who plasters an over-sized smile on my face for you. And I’ll be the clown who turns away so that the lonesome tear trailing down my cheek cannot be seen by you.

Only I, and those who allow me to feel and share my grief in their presence, will understand how brittle and fragile I am. So very fragile and sad. I am the glass clown.

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