Forever Changed

Grief is a war.

It is someone who never wanted to fight.

You try to protect yourself from the inevitable deaths,

By preparing yourself for what is to come.

It’s a constant battle.

But one casualty.

That’s all it takes 

To lose everything,

Your life, your hope, yourself.

It’s a family member, a friend, a comrade

Cancer. Suicide. Bullets.

It’s enemy fire and bam, in a heartbeat,

 They’re gone.

No longer outgoing or talkative,

You are insecure and withdrawn from everybody 

Because of the things that have been witnessed,

Who could ever understand? No one.

Wanting to kill the enemy

But out of bullets 

And out of the strength needed to keep fighting.

Sent into a warzone with no way to win.

It is the anger, sadness, and hopelessness that begins to surround you,

You begin to sink deeper into the foxhole and yourself,

Away from everybody.

Alone, scared, and helpless, 

No one to turn to.

Not wanting to get attention, 

You move yourself from the front lines to the rear.

Unnoticeable, trying not to attract attention.

Under the radar, afraid of looking like a wimp,

You make it seem as if you are fine, unscathed.

When the war dies down and the fighting has stopped,

You build a wall around yourself,

A front put up to discourage any questions from your comrades.

 The ones you don’t want to answer.

You will be forever scarred, forever changed.

It’s the battle wounds that don’t show on the outside,

It’s the small scratches that are covered up by the lies and stories told.

But the worst wounds are the ones that no one knows about.

It is the cuts so deep that it changes who you are,

How you act, how you think, how you live.

The first close casualty is the hardest,

The first cut is the deepest,

The first war is the saddest.

Every battle is scary

And it seems as if you will never forget.

But then the war and fighting dies down and it is peaceful and life resumes,

But you are changed, 

You’re not the same person you were before the fighting began.

But you soon find strength,

And when you lose one of your own family members, a friend, a comrade,

And when someone asks why you have changed, you simply say:

“I just came back from a war.”

Guide that inspired this poem: 

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