It happens, from time to time. Something unpleasant that rips open old memories, or rips open new wounds, that feels like it's slapped you, stinging, across the face.
But that's ok. You have coping mechanisms. Eating ice cream. Watching the birds. Listening to music.
They don't take the pain away, but they can dull it, just a little. Enough for it to be bearable, enough for you to pretend you are ok. They can hold it back just long enough, until you can quietly pick up the pieces when no one is watching you.
And you'll pause over each piece. You'll remember how you laughed on that day, or how you smiled when such and such happened. Sometimes those pieces don't exist yet. But they are still memories, even if they are fairy-stories you made in your mind.
And then, you will quietly, quietly, put the pieces aside, until you have a little pile.
And you'll see that the pile isn't really so big after all. Not all-consuming like you thought it was.
It's such a shame. They were beautiful memories. When did they fade and dull and become so small?
But slowly, you will make progress. Each small piece will be delicately placed in the pile when you are ready. Sometimes you'll pick one up and turn it over in your hands and marvel at the way it used to make you feel.
It doesn't quite feel the same anymore, does it?
But that's ok. You'll gather them slowly, slowly, at your own pace. You'll gather them when no one is looking, and you'll get stronger because those pieces are heavy and painful.
And it will be so quiet that only you will hear the sounds.