The early burst of energy is gone. I did everything that had to be done, all the tasks that had external triggers. Cleaning everything out of your house in time for the closing was completed. Working with the attorney to get all the legal matters associated with your estate straightened out; done. That mostly empty storage locker we’d had for several years was briefly filled and then emptied; it’s no longer one of the monthly bills. A lot of work took place in our house. I’ve been able to isolate most of the stuff that still needs sorting to the back room. I got a good start on going through things and separating into categories; your family, things I want to keep, historical items. Then I just stopped.
On MLK day I started the process to order the headstone. I went to the company and talked with someone there about what I wanted and looked at a large notebook full of pictures of headstones they had done over the years. A second notebook had drawings, carefully broken out into categories, of what could be carved into the stone. A few days later, I got a thick envelope with three proposals for what your headstone could look like. I’ve been carrying this with me for a week now. I’m terrified of sending in a decision; it seems so final.
I feel stuck, weighted down, unable to move. This is my worst time of year. Your low was December, the classic holiday blues. Mine came later, January and February, the cold and dark months when the sun is so rarely seen. I’d come home from work, sun already setting, and you’d greet me with a hug and a cup of coffee. Now it’s lonely and dark on my walk home, lonely and dark at home, lonely and dark in my life. I feel slow, heavy, lumbering through this long cold winter trying just to make it until spring, then wondering what difference a few turns of the calendar will make.
Will I miss you less in April than in January? Will the anniversary of your birth (no longer your birthday) be as painful as my birthday was? At what point will I start feeling that there is a future for me? I hardly recognize myself in the mirror; I look so much older than I did before all this happened, deep lines etched in my face that weren’t there 6 months ago.
At what point does life come back, does any sense of normalcy return? I am tired of feeling so bad all the time. I’m walking through a thick, viscous fog that obscures everything bright and good.
The weather just makes it worse; first bitter cold, than warm but torrential rain, then snow and back to bitter cold. I had the flu, then a bad cough that hasn’t gone away, and this week I had “flu.2” some stomach virus going around. I have to drag myself to work every morning, and I worry that they’ll realize how very little actual work I’m getting done. It’s so hard to care, to focus.
I need time. Time to think, to figure out what the hell happened, to understand that you’re gone. I want a month or two off. I want to go to a small, quiet resort in the tropics. I’d wake up and put on a cool, flowing linen dress and sandals. I’d sip my morning coffee sitting on a patio looking out on the ocean. The waiters would know me and nod hello. I’d read a book over breakfast, then take a walk along the beach. That’s what I want to be doing. Instead I’m waking up late every morning, rushing to work in the dead of winter, trying to fake it at work because I’m too young to retire and too old to be hired anywhere else.
I’m so very, very angry at everything that has happened. Some nights I go up to bed at 8pm; other nights I sit up until 2am. Some nights I cry thinking about how much I miss you, and other nights I’m angry at you. I feel deserted by you, by friends, by family. I hope this is the lowest I get.