The easiest place for me to start is this: I should be wearing all black, or be seen only by his grave gnashing my teeth, or something. I wish our culture had more clear traditions to deal with grief. I read in one of my grief books, sometimes you wish you could wear a big button or something that just announces your ordeal to the world around you, so that people could just know- all is not right. But I haven’t lost all faculty of reason. I remember the day before, and I knew grief was a mighty, monstrous thing… that I wouldn’t have to deal with for a long time, I hoped. Not to sound too histrionic, though let’s be honest, that is unavoidable, the day before he died I didn’t know that grief can make the world look like its’ negative, waiting to be developed; flowers and sunshine seem nonsensical and somehow the hands on the clock are moving, but you know in your heart that time could not possibly be moving forward without him BECAUSE THAT IS RIDICULOUS.
But to be fair, the man attached to the black arm band on my sleeve chose to catch the express to nothingness. It made me, it makes me, feel as though I am the one dish in a china shop that has withstood the smashing of the bull, but I can feel a crack inching down my center and I may at any second shatter too.
Sometimes I do shatter. I did last night, again. I get these reminders of how I found him, of what his last seconds must have been like, and I … I mean I could give you a cute little metaphor, but I have a totally typical anxiety attack and flashback. If you have been so lucky as to avoid this particular mixture of brain chemistry, it feels like someone is ripping your brain out through your chest and there is a good, reasonable chance you will not be able to breathe in thirty seconds. That’s what mine feel like, anyway (and I really sincerely do not want to speak for anyone else’s experience).
What does it feel like now, a bit over two months since he took his own life in my bedroom? My state of mind does honestly change hour to hour- like I’ve somehow had the hem of my pants caught on a truck and I am being dragged along for the ride- but for the most part, I am coasting in neutral and can act as though I am totally not worried about this pants/truck situation. But there is anesthetic feeling sitting like a barrel in the center of my body all the time. And inside, an untapped keg of grief just waiting for the right moment. Real physical comfort is hard to come by, either through happiness or just the normal feeling good in your body type stuff. I do what I can. I work out, I eat well (enough), I talk to and see friends, I have a therapist AND a support group, good relations with my family… I feel like I’m running a marathon with a really clear finish line. I have to come to terms with the fact that it does not exist; I’ll feel like a new “myself” one day, but I don’t know when. So, I am writing here to throw another oar in. I feel as though if I have a blog, maybe I will be motivated to write more often. We shall see.
And how do I feel? Right now I feel weary, which I am not sure qualifies as an emotion word but whatever. I’m tired in spirit, tired in body and mind. I want so badly to sleep, but I would like to be woken up when this is all passed, and things feel like they should again, when this happiness vacuum has been vanquished from my chest. But don’t misunderstand. I know I will feel better, I can imagine a future wherein I am able to feel light and able to lift others. I hesitate to call it hope, because it feels much more sure than that. What I have for my distant future is not hope, it is like the theory of gravity. Just a theory, technically, but here we are, being held on to by physics.