Tag Archives: friendship

Breath By Breath

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I’ve put my daughter Emily to bed.  I’ve laid in bed with her until she’s drifted off and her breath is slow and steady and almost hypnotic.

All of a sudden I’m bawling my eyes out, shuddering silently next to her.  I don’t want to wake her, but it feels like I will never stop as my body shakes and tears gush down my cheeks.  I feel like someone is punching me in my face, in my gut.  I feel like someone is wrapping their hand around my throat.

My five year old purrs in her dreams, and the noise tethers me to this reality.

I take out my phone and text my best friend.  I beg her to never die.  She says something warm and then tells me a joke and next thing I know I’m shaking again, but this time in laughter.

That’s how life is these days.

My mood shifts as though I’m dancing on the edge of a blade.  One moment, I’ve got my shit together and the next I’m dissolving.

It’s been four months since E. died.  Almost five.  It seems an eternity and it seems no time at all.  I still just want to talk about her all the time.  Her voice is still right beneath the follicles of my hair.  And yet, despite the immediacy of her presence, she is farther away than ever.

Death is a fucking fucker and that is about as eloquent as I can get about it at the moment. Grief is an even fucking-er fucker.

Someone said to me last week that grief is love that has nowhere to go.  That’s a more graceful way of putting what I feel I guess.  This pent up surge of love and emotion that has no channel.

I go to E.’s grave every week and I talk to her.  I catch my voice rise and fall in the same cadence it would when she was alive with me.  We had this silly, journalistic way of talking to one another, reporting all of the mundane.

She remembered everything I told her, even the dumbest, most minor details like it was something super important.  She relished stories about my husband and kids.  You know, as a working mom, it does not take much to make me happy.  I’d tell her stuff like how touched I was that my husband stayed home with a sick kiddo or remembered to buy toilet paper on his way home from work, and she’d bring it up months later.  Like if I was annoyed with my husband, she would say something like, “But he’s really a thoughtful guy.  Remember the time he brought home the toilet paper and took Jack to the doctor?”

She made me feel so important.  So special.  So loved.  Who on earth is every going to give a tiny rat’s ass about my membership to the big box store and the lifetime supply of granola I acquired?

So I go to her grave and I talk to her.  I tell her everything.  I tell her what I’m wearing.  I tell her what I had for lunch.  I tell her about the unicorn Emily drew, and I tell her that Jack learned how to play the Star Wars theme on his trumpet.  I read her poems.  I play songs for her.

There’s a part of me that knows I’m just talking to myself, and it breaks my heart.

It makes me cry from so deep within myself, from a place that is still little and frightened, from a place that wants to stamp my foot and pound my fist against my thighs and demand that she come back her right this instant or else!

I keep thinking that any day now I’m going to feel better.

Sometimes I do feel better.  I’m not miserable.  I still find pleasure in life.

But lately everything feels so hard.  Work.  Motherhood.  Grief.  Marriage.

You may have noticed I haven’t written much lately, and when I have, it has been these morose little poems.  Ugh.  Yeah.  I’m sorry about that.

It’s like I just don’t have anything else in me.  I feel terrible for not writing more about my kids or all of the other random myriad of great stuff that goes on, but I sort of feel so drained that to sit down and write anything cohesive and thought out like I wrote two or three years ago would just be impossible.

It seems like all around me people are doing amazing stuff.  Friends are going to political events and getting involved in volunteer work.  Colleagues are reading up on the latest in clinical research and going to conferences to stay current.  People on Facebook are exercising and drinking protein shakes and hanging out in clubs.

I’m just over here like, “How the fuck do you all feel like it?”

I just want to go climb into my bed.

I want to lie still and daydream about being  a mermaid, about swimming far far away under the water and not hearing anything but the swishy splash of my own tail.

I’m so freaking tired.  It feels a monumental effort to breathe.  Everyone else is engaging in their cool hobbies and I can basically say, “Well, I managed to keep breathing all week.  It was hard and kind of painful, but I did it.  So, I’ve got that going for me.”

It’s sort of ironic that I want to duck under the water and swim away when I spend so much of my energy just trying to keep my head above water, but then I’ve always been a portrait in contradictions.

That right there would have given E. a good chuckle.

I miss E. so much, and I wish I could talk to her about this.  I wish I could tell her how tired I am and how sad, how desperately sad, every single breath feels.

But then there is the squishy pillow of my daughter’s cheek under my lips as I get up from her bed to leave her room.  I draw breath enough to whisper that I love her into her sleeping ear.  I draw another breath.  Then another.  And I know I’ll keep breathing, breath by breath, until maybe it doesn’t hurt quite as much.

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Grief and Motherhood– Lessons Learned While Grieving as a Mom

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If you’ve been following along over the past months, you may have noticed my once plucky mommy blog has been devoted almost entirely to the death of one of my best friends.

E. died in October.  She died suddenly, or at least it seemed sudden to me.  Had my eyes been open, I might have seen it really was not so sudden.  She’d been ill.  I’d been in denial.  Part of my grief’s rawness these past months is in acknowledging that, had I not been in denial about her age and health, I might have had prioritized more opportunities to see her, to love her, to speak and share with her.

Sometimes I don’t make the time I should.  While juggling the responsibilities of my life as a working mom and wife, I forget to make the call or send the card.  I’m not assertive enough about making plans with people.  It’s a crappy excuse, and an even crappier feeling to realize you missed a chance because you were stupidly blinded by the day to day.

I take comfort in knowing my last interaction with her was loving, sweet, and happy.  And about a week before she died, I left a voice mail for her which ended, as it always ended, in “I love you.”

I’ve also taken comfort in writing about her.

E. was my first major loss.  It doesn’t matter that I’m a therapist with training in grief and trauma.  When you experience this stuff for the first time, it’s like any other new, uncomfortable experience.  I’m bumbling  through the dark tunnel, and channeling my frustration, and sorrow into posts and poems.

Grieving as a mom has also been challenging.

When E. first died, a friend said she hoped I could find space to grieve because it’s hard to do when you are a working mom, already stretched translucently thin.  I’ve thought a lot about this over the past couple months- how as moms it is so hard to find the space we need to integrate all of our parts into one cohesive package.  We can’t sit around and cry in bed when kids need to be brought to school, karate, and dance; need to be fed, washed, and snuggled.  We still have to rise and go to work to keep heat on and food stocked.

In some ways, I wonder if my grief is taking me twice as long to “go through” because I pigeon hole it into these tiny chunks.  As moms, we keep bits of ourselves in little boxes, high up on shelves.  It seems we rarely have time to take them down, open them up and spread the contents all over, let alone pack it all back up in the proper compartments.  I tell myself things like, “If I just hold it together for the next seven hours, I can cry in the car on my commute home.”

It’s exhausting, but it is what it is.

Despite the lack of time and energy, I’ve tried staying emotionally open to lessons this time has to teach me.  I’ll share what I came up with so far:

1. It sounds like a cliche, but if I learned one thing about bereavement, it is that talking and sharing about the lost loved one helps.  A selection of special people have been ready, willing, and able to bear witness to my memories and stories about E., and this blessing has not escaped me as it heals the heart.

2. Part of me knows I will look back on this time and see it as something precious, painful though it has been.  E.’s final gift to me was the realization, that in leaving of this earthly plane, love remains stronger and truer than ever.  There are ways we still connect and touch one another.  It is a time rich in wonder and affection.

The intensity of the emotion paints layers of it’s own complex beauty onto my existence.

I haven’t written much about my kids, family, or life as a working mom.  I’m still doing and feeling all the stuff that goes along with being a mother, but in my writing all of that has taken a back seat to my need to process my friend’s death.  Anyway, there isn’t really anything new or different I can say about all of that right now.  I’ve had mixed feelings about this shift in content, but it has needed to be, so I let it.  Which leads me to my next lesson of sorts. . .

3. It is more helpful to hold our pain, sit with it, cradle it and explore its bizarre face than it would be to cover it up and hide it away.  In my professional training, I learned, years ago, that trying to suppress trauma is like trying to hold a beach ball under water.  It is slippery, unwieldy, and untenable.  When I sit with client’s in the crisis of grief, I often share this analogy with them.  I’ve been granted an opportunity to practice what I preach.

These lessons seem to be gifts from beyond.

Even as I embrace these things, I feel uncertain.  Someone remarked that dealing with grief is almost like having another child to care for.  It’s an apt analogy.  And as though I am holding a newborn child, I am wondering if I am doing it right, if it will like and respond to my touch, if I will be able to handle it.

My uncertainty lies in the fear people won’t like or understand my current poems; that people will get bored with me and stop reading; that people won’t appreciate how fully my blog has shifted from life of a working mother to dealing with death.  I worry people won’t see the connection.

But there’s always a connection, tenuous though it may be.

Being a mom is my most important role in life.  I mean, two living and breathing organisms kind of count on me to keep them alive.  But other parts of me sometimes do not get the time and attention they truly need.  My blog gives me space to process and complete my emotional self so I can tackle the other stuff I need to do.  It helps me integrate and  consolidate the contents of all the little boxes into the whole me.

I have faith in myself and in the process.  Being a mom may have prepared me to patiently nurture and understand grief, even as it has complicated my grieving process.  We are always stronger and more flexible than we think or dream.  Sooner or later, I’ll get back to writing about all of the other stuff.  In the mean time, thank you for bearing with me and for bearing witness.  Every like, comment, and share has meant more to me than I can properly explain.

 

Love After Death– Where Does the Good Go?

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“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.”  –Winnie the Pooh


E. was one of the loves of my life.

I say that without any sense of histrionic hyperbole whatsoever.

I was infatuated with her, but not in the typical sense of the word.  There was never anything sexual about my attraction to her, although in a weird way that probably only I can understand, there was a romance to our kinship.

My adoration of her was purely psycho spiritual.  She was my hero.

And she loved me back.

I have tangible proof of her love in almost every room of my home, in my office, in my yard, things I can touch and see and smell.  I have photos of us together and anyone can see in our smiles how happy we are to be together.  Physical artifacts and evidence of a well worn relationship.

It was a love and a friendship beyond reason.  Unconditional and rare.  At least it was to me.

She was 32 years my senior, but our simpatico had an ageless quality.  We spoke the same language.  When she came into work singing “I feel pithy, oh so pithy!” I totally got the joke.  And when I shared with her about the tiny and sweet moments of my life as a mom, she understood.

That’s it, you know?  She loved me and she understood me.

And now she’s dead.

In the weeks since her passing, I’ve found myself asking that refrain from the infamous Tegan and Sara song, “where does the good go?”

Where is E.’s love in the wake of her death?  Where is her unwavering belief in me?  Where is her laughter at my jokes, along with her zany retorts?  Where is her tenderness?

You’re probably asking yourself where my mommy blog went. . .  It seems my space has become a darkened cemetery of posts.  But it is what it needs to be for the moment.

I want to tell you about her.  I want to talk about her.  I want to repeat all of our conversations and replay all of our banter.  I want to show you the cards she wrote me.  I want to tell you how I stretched out over her grave, nuzzled my face into the grass and cried huge, fat tears and found it muddy on my skin when I came up for air. I want you to know I’m not crazy; I’m just grieving and I miss her.

I want to tell you how she changed my life.

I want to get all of this out of my system, and then I want to do it all over again.

I want you to sit and listen, with rapt attention that never wavers, even when I’ve told you everything for the hundredth time.

Because that’s what E. would do.

Maybe that’s why I go to her grave so often.  Maybe that’s why I talk to her incessantly about my days.  Maybe that’s why I play “Younger than Springtime” into the grass above her, wondering if the sound waves make it through the earth to the cherry wood of her casket.

Maybe that’s why I weep and look for signs everywhere that I can weave into the story of her and me so it doesn’t have to be over just yet.

Maybe that’s why I need you to hear me, to believe me.

Maybe that is why I need to believe that E. can still hear me.

Because in hearing me, she made me feel real.

She never seemed to care that I was desperately insecure, anxious, and mercurial as a Siamese cat.

She held all the parts of me I could not tolerate.  She stroked them, smoothed them down until they were almost charming.  She made me love myself just by sitting there with open ears.  She allowed me to look at myself through her eyes until I saw myself the way she saw me.  And gosh, I was pretty.

She was a captive audience.  And so it seems she is now, even more than ever but it is in such a strange and intangible fashion.  It makes me doubt.

The days pass.  Most of the time I’m really okay.  Most of the time I’m happy and doing what I need to do.

Other days, grief snags me with its sharp and mocking edge.  I fall inward and knock around inside myself, searching for answers.

Who am I without you, E.?  What would you tell me?  How am I supposed to do this without you?  When will I learn how to love after death, and will I keep feeling your love for me?  

I know the answers, even though I don’t really like them.

There was a time I sat crying with a friend in recent days.  I was frustrated and overwhelmed with life and had twisted it all up into an existential tornado.  I was blessed by my friend’s empathy and patience with me in that moment.  She helped to hold and accept the mess of me, and the nature of that compassion allowed me to connect, not just with her, but with a sense of universal constancy.  Trusting her gave me the courage to trust myself, to listen.

E.’s voice came to me, clear as a bell.

We do not find you lacking.

It was what she would say to me to shine a light into my neuroses and set me at ease.  Those were the words that answered every question.

They still do.  It’s just that now I have to say them for myself, chant them until they are tattooed in my marrow, until my body resonates at their frequency.  Then, I can laugh through the tears and know her with my heart, like I always did.

Good At Grief

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You guys.  I am nailing this grief thing.  Like, I’m getting super good at it. It is so my jam.

I am making grief my bitch.

I’m pretty sure I could get a job as a professional mourner, which believe it or not, they do have in some cultures.

No.  You guys, I wouldn’t just get the job, I would be the supervisor.  It would be my job to show everyone else exactly how “it’s” done.  The keening and wailing.  All of it.  Eventually, they would promote me and I would be the boss of the whole Agency of Grieving.

If you know me at all, and even if you don’t, you can probably (hopefully) tell I’m being facetious.

Is anyone really good at grief?  What would that even mean?  I have no idea.

It’s such a subjective and abstract thing.  Grief is not a one size fits all garment.  It looks and fits differently on everybody.  And on some, I suppose, it is just not flattering.  I mean, it’s not called “ugly crying” because it looks and feels amazing, right?

I’ve spilled my share of ugly tears over the past four weeks since my friend E. died.  Sometimes it has felt cathartic, and other times it has been just scary.  I can’t say it has ever felt particularly “good” or that I’ve felt even remotely competent while doing it.

But I’ve done it.

I’ve done it at her grave, and in my car.  I’ve done it at work.  I’ve done it as I fell asleep and as I woke up the next morning.

Grief has been a rather unruly house guest.  It wants all of my attention.  It wants to be carted about to see the sights and then complains about everything.  But I’ve done my best to be hospitable because hosting this thing seems important.  Necessary, even.

If I’ve been good at grief at all over the past month, it is only because I’ve made friends with it.  I’ve opened my arms to all of its prickly tendencies, held it close, and wept because it is so sharp and painful.

And if I’ve been good at grief, it has been because people have given me the space, love, and support to do it.  Friends and family have granted me access to sail off with grief into dark and murky waters, of which I am terribly frightened.  Even though they can’t go there with me, they have assured me that they will be there when I return, standing on the shore with arms ready to collect me.

Sometimes grief comes back with me, and other times it does some island hopping alone while I tend to vacuuming, shuttling kids to birthday parties and karate, and laughing at something with my husband.

It has helped to write.  It has helped to talk.  It has helped to cry.  It has helped to be hugged.  It has helped to be left alone.

Knowing that people around the globe have held space for me while I go through this has been a priceless blessing.

And you know what?  I’m feeling a bit better.  Maybe I’m even feeling a lot better.

Of course this could be illusory.  Remember a couple weeks ago when I felt amazing and was totally acing life and then I started to feel like crap again?  Yeah.

But there has been a shift.

Even when I am off on that rickety boat with my grief, I can see the shore where once it was just a dark mess of fog.  Sometimes E. is standing there on the sandy banks, and I am so happy to see her, to be reminded of all our good times, to feel her unconditional love which is so vast and strong it penetrates death and makes me feel intact.

From the great beyond, she inspires my heart.

I’m here, she says.  I’m here.  When you’re ready, you can come ashore, let go of the pain and I’ll still be here.

Her voice fills me with a mixture of hope and sorrow, but I hear it clearly.

I don’t think I’d have heard it had I not committed to taking this voyage to bond with grief.

So, as this self proclaimed expert who is totally winning at grief, what would I recommend to others?

I don’t know, guys.

I guess do what feels right.  Let it be with you and let it go when it feels appropriate.  Trust your love.

And tell yourself that you are crushing it in the biggest and best way possible.  It sort of helps.

Mourning Sickness

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It four in the morning and I’m up. Apparently grief has changed my ability to sleep for more than a few hours at a time, in addition to the other chaos and havoc it is exerting on my life. 

This isn’t great for me because I’m really susceptible to sleep deprivation. Like, remember that time I tried to sell my newborn on the internet?

But I digress (probably another function of sleep deprivation).

I was saying to a friend that grief has changed my biological responses to things. Like sleep. And eating.  I wake with this perpetually queasy and anxious tummy. My head hurts.  Food tastes different, like it’s wrong or spoiled.  It turns my stomach.

Even my heartbeat feels erratic, rushed, wild.  

I’m not particularly worried about this.  I know I’ll sleep eventually, and I have 30 extra pounds I could stand to lose, so it’s not like I’m going to damage my health.

I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  But until I get to it, it’s pretty freaking uncomfortable, messy, and frustrating. 

I’m a person who likes order and control, afterall. So to be throwing myself head first into the ugly business of death is different and difficult, to say the least. 

It reminds me of a perpetual hangover, although I’ve consumed no alcohol.  And do you know what that reminds me of?  Morning sickness.

When I was pregnant with both of my babies, I had vicious morning sickness for the entire first trimester, more so with my daughter than with my son.

It was like my body staged a revolution and revolted against the way it had always been. 

But I had faith, even on the worst days when I could barely stand up, that it would eventually go away and something beautiful and miraculous would happen as a result of that hardship.

Mourning sickness.

Get it?

I went to E.’s grave this week on a really bad day.  I’d been crying all day for a variety of reasons, mainly because I had news and I wanted to share with E., and I couldn’t pick up the phone and call her.

I knelt at her grave and fell forward sobbing with my head in the grass.  I wept until I could barely breathe, curled in a ball at the head of her plot, where I’d placed a purple, potted mum.

When I finally came up for air, a dragonfly alighted on one of the flowers.

I gasped and startled it away, but all of a sudden there was peace in my heart, a sense of my heartbeat slowing and returning to a normal rate. 

E. wore a dragonfly pin on her wedding day, and was buried in her wedding dress with the pin in place.


How could that be merely coincidence and not some sort of stunning miracle?

How could it not be her, tenderly reaching out to set my heart at ease, a shred of order and connection amongst the maelstrom of pain and loss?  

Some of you might be rolling your eyes and saying, “There she goes writing about grief again.”  

I get it. I’m starting to bore even myself. 

But that’s how I process. I’m going to obsess and cry and mourn and wail until it feels right to stop and return to my regularly scheduled program. 

I’m going to continue loving, and looking among the wreckage for those little signs, with every beat of my broken heart. 

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Posted as part of the WordPress daily prompt challenge. 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/chaos/

Chaos | The Daily Post

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/chaos/

the Out of Sync Woman

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Grief has turned me into this weird version of myself.

I feel like I’m existing in some parallel universe, out of sync with everyone around me.

It’s as though I’m onstage with the Rockettes.  I look fabulous and I’m smiling, but I’m kicking just a bit lower and off tempo.  Actually, that’s a crappy analogy.  I could never be a Rockette.  Modern dance is more my thing, but I digress.

It’s like I forgot how to talk to people.  I worry I’m blinking too much.  I worry about eye contact.

I feel simultaneously invisible and horribly exposed, like either I am completely fading away, or everyone can see every raw, messy inch of how awful I feel.  Maybe they will be embarrassed for me, or they won’t know what to say.  Maybe they won’t care.  Either way it feels awkward and unusual.

I second guess everything I say, anxious I make people angry or confused.  I’m worried that patience is running thin, that my sorrow is boring and testing those around me.

Even in my writing, I feel like I feel incapable of expressing things with the clarity I so desire.  It’s frustrating and makes me tired.

It could also be lack of sleep exacerbating things.  I haven’t been sleeping or eating that great since it all happened.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m keeping in motion.  I’m bathing and working and functioning at a  completely reasonable pace.  Kick, jump, shuffle, step.

It’s just this bizarre sense that life is so different, difficult, and exhausting.

My heart aches for E.

What a stupid and trite thing to write, but I don’t know any other way to put it.

After the initial shock of her death, and the emotional roller coaster of the wake and funeral, I felt a bit numb.  It wasn’t such a bad thing.  It allowed me to go about my day.  Feed the kids.  See clients.  Shop.  Make jokes.  Have sex.  Cook some chicken in the crock pot.

It was easy to kind of start thinking that maybe she was just on one of her cruises with her wife.  She was just “away”.

A part of me started to accept her “away-ness.”  It didn’t feel terrible.

But then the moment came when I wanted to pick up the phone and call her and I just couldn’t.

I searched around me for some tangible reminder of my connection with her.  I put on the scarf she gave me.  I looked at her handwriting in the modern dance book she gave me at our last supper out together.  “Forty years later, this is yours, my vivacious friend.  E.”

Tears came, fresh and hot.

It’s the little things that kill me, like when I want to tell her about a really good session at work, or a particularly rewarding conversation with a coworker.  It’s when I want to show her the pictures of my kids dressed up for Halloween, or tell her about something radical my daughter said.

My brain continues to share dumb jokes with her.

Partly it comforts.

But mostly it confounds in the new, one dimensional shape our relationship has taken.

I mentioned to a friend that I was struggling and they suggested I get “professional help.”  While I know my friend was just trying to be loving, and I appreciate that, I got super butt hurt over it.

First of all, the last thing a therapist wants to do at the end of the day is more therapy.  Believe me.  Been there, done that.  At this point I am fairly certain I know enough about myself to know that I don’t need therapy.  Not just yet, anyway.

Second of all, therapy is not going to bring E. back.

Third, it has only been three weeks.  Although cultural expectations would suggest I should be long past things by now, I know that it doesn’t work that way.  Not really.

Finally, I don’t want to talk to a stranger about E.  I want to talk to my friends, and her friends, and my family about her.  I want to share and remember with the people who knew and loved her, or who knew how much I loved her.

I want to visit her grave and cry and read her poems.  I want to write about her and feel this longing with every inch of my soul.

And oh my heavens, it aches.  It throbs deep in my bones.

How could therapy help or solve that?

Grief is not linear.  Rationally I know I will have to continue circling through and around the various phases.  Acceptance one week.  Anger  and denial the next.  And so forth.

I have a weird sort of faith in the process, and I do feel like I am moving forward and things will get better.  Life goes on.  It’s all good.  And so forth.

But another part of me wonders if I will ever get back in sync.  Her demise has changed me, has changed the shape of my life is ways I am not so certain will reform to what used to be.

There’s a scary thought.

Or is it?

I’m also learning about the ways in which she continues to touch my life, to work through me, even from the great beyond.  I’m noticing when I channel her when I sit with clients.  I am listening deep inside of me to hear her voice, the voice that I know and love and trust.  The voice she shared with me so often.  (She doesn’t think I need therapy either btw.)

I’m not a believer.

But E. was.

In some ways, it is like she is challenging me to reconsider that maybe there is more than meets the eye.  Maybe dead is more than just dead.

She’s allowed me the gift of being truly able to look directly into my client’s eyes and say “I understand” with complete honesty when they are grappling with grief and loss.  There is a beauty and connection in that authenticity that feels like something grand.

And that’s all well and good until I re-realize that I can’t share this with her.  Then my stomach lurches and I want to go to bed.

I’ve often said that E. is one of the loves of my life.  Not in any sort of sexual way, although there was a platonic romance about our relationship.  But my love for her is just so huge.  After she died, I wrote to her best friend of 54 years in an email that I “idolized” her. And that was very true.

Damn, it still is true.

But everything is just so altered.  Brunch with friends or an evening out doesn’t feel right or good because there is a part of my heart that is missing.  And it is so tiring to try to balance the weight of that grief with everything else I have to do with a smile.

I called her wife to check in and say hi, and the answering machine picked up.  E.’s voice is still their out going message.  I swallowed hard so I could leave a message and sound chipper.

Someday it will not be the grief and pain that tethers me to E., rather the wisdom and happy memories she’s left with me.

But right now, things just feel unbearably different.

And I feel a step or two out of sync with the whole rest of the universe, shuffling and time stepping until I feel like I want to give up and just sit down on stage.

Many thanks to those of you who are bearing with me during this time. . .  I apologize for another wave of death and trauma posts. . . but it is what I need to do right now.  xoxo.  

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Cemetery 

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I don’t believe you’re here,
although, technically,
you’re down there,
nestled like a hibernating animal
under mounds of dirt,
snug in your cavern,
fingers curled stiff in the dark.

It scares and thrills me,
at once, how we still sit together,
although our conversation
is rather one-sided these days,
so I spend most of the time
companionable, silent with you.

I don’t believe in ghosts or haunting,
although it is strange how you whispered
words long forgotten
in my ear, and how I laughed
(with you?) as the “murder” of crows
flew over my head.

Can you feel the heat of my hands
pressing down on the earth over you,
as though trying to pat you
through thin covers
of a hospital bed?
Can you hear my voice tremble
with grief and embarassment as I
tell you about my day, about
squirrels chattering in the tree
that shades you, about
your neighbor’s wind chimes, about
the bizarre parade and
all the shades of grief and loss?

What a conversation we would have had,
thee and me, about all this.

There was a poem I meant to share,
a missed chance almost too great to bear.

The breeze stirs up in the trees,
I kneel with my hands on the ground,
and even though you cannot feel or hear
me, I do it anyway.

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Written for my dear E., who I continue to love and miss with every breath. . .  

Part of the WordPress daily prompt challenge.  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/eerie/