One of the things we learn how to do in med school is to ask a lot of questions in order to characterize a patient's pain. Pain comes in a lot of flavors, and understanding one person's particular pain can go a long ways toward figuring out the root cause. When did it start? Is it a sharp stab or a dull ache? Constant or intermittent? What makes it better or worse? How bad is it on a scale from 0 to 10?
I was thinking today about how many of those characteristics can be applied to my grief, how mutable it is, and just how physically tangible it can feel sometimes. There were times when it was intense, overwhelmingly painful, and times when it was just a few stinging tears. The past few weeks I've felt a little emotionally raw, sensitive to small triggers. This week it's more of a heaviness, a constant dull presence. In terms of what makes it better or worse, I've become very aware that school stress (in particular, impending exams) make it worse, and finding someone who's able to listen makes it better.
I think the thing I'm missing this week is having someone to come home to at the end of the day to receive the little stuff. Someone to ask "How was your day?" and who will listen to me effuse or gripe or reflect or laugh about the small things that happened.