Writing it all down has become a sort of discipline. it’s more than just typing words in. There’s are props involved. A cup of hot tea, a box of tissues, quiet music. All that keeps me calm. Like any discipline, or exercise, continuity is important. Writing is incredibly cathartic, and it’s a record, something to return to later, of a massive life-altering event. I am recording a terminal event, one that was just as important as his birth, and had just as much of an impact on the lives of people around him.
I don’t know exactly what he is doing now. All I can go on is what I read about, and even that was written by people who were going on what someone else told them. So honestly, who really knows? Only the people who are already there and they’re too busy being with God. One day I’ll be busy with God, too, but for now it’s this mortal and imperfect life with miseries and joys and babies and all that.
All along, people who know more about this than I do have been telling me that it really hits a week later. Well, yesterday was a week later. Last night was the first time I broke down in public (other than the hospital. I didn’t cry at the funeral). Not even really public but I was in the parking lot of a church waiting for Eli to come out from Scouts and just…kind of crumbled. A friend saw me and sat in the car and talked for a bit, that was nice. comforting. Crying in public is mildly horrifying and terribly embarrassing, even with a good excuse. And in a parking lot, when it’s dark isn’t exactly public but enough to be embarrassing.
I kept dreaming last night, I don’t remember them really, but i do remember having trouble telling if they were dreams or reality, until I woke up. I was (and still am) SO TIRED. #4 got up, took his shower and when he came in he said he had a rough night and didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t even have to think about it. I didn’t want to go to school either, and had been pondering who to call to give him a ride. Problem solved, eh. Go back to bed, you don’t have to go to school today. I went back to bed for a little while as well, but all these dogs….i love my animals but sometimes I wish they had an “off” button.
This pain has been in just fits and starts up until now. I could set it aside for a little bit, but I think that was just pretending. Himself has…had been gone on business trips longer than the amount of time and it was easy to act like he was off for a while and would be back. I mean, logically I knew he wouldn’t but in my heart it felt like he would. But last night, sitting in the parking lot, I KNEW he wouldn’t.
What I feel isn’t what I think of as grief, it is confusion. I am dropped into a place that I don’t speak the language or know the customs or even where to find the bathroom. I am reaching out blindly for a wall or a rope to hold onto because even the ground isn’t what it’s supposed to be. It rocks and pitches, some kind of boat that feels rudderless at the moment.
I know it’s not. I am surrounded by people love me in so many ways. These people bring food, this one badgers me into opening the windows, another one has held my hands and guiding through the process that she has been through. God’s love shown in tangible ways and I can hold on to that. It makes me hopeful for the future, that seeing and experiencing all this will allow me to do the same for someone else later on.
But right now, this day. Oh, how it hurts. It aches, painfully down into my bones. Food won’t stay down, only this spicy sweet tea made by a friend who’s culture tells you to scream and shave your head upon the death of a loved one. I wish our culture had more of that, some visible sign that declared our grief, instead of one that is all about looking NORMAL and not frightening anyone with some loud display. “Oh she is so strong”, that is what’s said of someone who can smile and get dressed and look normal when what I want is to scream and shave my head and wear a very visible sign of the awful, awful thing we are experiencing. I want people to KNOW. Not for any other reason than to know. I don’t want special treatment (though that is very nice as well), but sometimes I want people, strangers, to be able to see it. Then I don’t. I want normal and to be treated like any other person. Consistency…I hasn’t it.
Anyway. Today. One at a time. One cup of sweet, spicy tea at a time, one word at a time. Windows open per Bossy Mother Hen friend’s orders. The breeze is warm and smells like Spring. For the first time in a week, the yard doesn’t smell like a swamp. I can look out the window and see the daffodils that Himself loved, all blooming and singing their bright yellow songs. That man did love him some daffodils.