I don't always realise that I'm really pretty fucking wrecked since my dad died. It should be so obvious. It's like, my parents dying horribly should be the giant elephant in the room. My mom first, and then my dad almost four years later. Four years of stress. OBVIOUS. But it slips in and out of sight.
Nobody else is thinking about it? The world hasn't stopped moving? Nobody really asks "so how ya doing these days?" And why would they? I'm still here. I'm still cracking jokes (less, I think). I'm still getting the bulk of the laundry done (it takes a really long goddamn time), I wash my hair, I shave my legs every day. I go for POWER WALKS. Anyone who goes for POWER WALKS is functioning just fine.
But then something comes up, like a doctor's appointment. Something out of the NORM. Maybe one of the kids has an appointment. Maybe one of the kids is COUGHING in the night. And that's it--it's back to waking up with the racing pulse and that feeling that doom is right around the corner. Or maybe it's that library book that I could not return; Lauren Bacall telling about her romance with Humphrey Bogart. As if I could even make it to the part where Bogey finds out he has cancer and begins to wither away painfully. Overdue book. Overdue fine growing by the day. I could not just throw that damn thing through the slot. I could not go ONLINE to renew it. I'm on my laptop all the time, but I could not do it. In another era, I'd explain this by saying; "I don't know, man--I just CAN'T DEAL."
It's being really busy most days and then that day arrives that I now know as the "useless" day. That's the day that I'm having a BIG nap and the rest of the day I'm sitting on the couch, next to the cat, with my laptop atop my lap (heh), and I'm unscrambling words, and reading bland celebrity news. And that's all I'm doing. But it's quiet and civilized, and there's no weeping and wailing. Why, I'm really no trouble at all.
Mostly I harden my heart. I echo my mother: of course it's hard, so what are you going to do? This means, I just keep moving forward. Always forward. But then a holiday rolls around, like Thanksgiving. I had a great time..ate way too much, et cetera, et cetera. But after dinner, an image shot into my head of my dad sitting in the rocking chair last Thanksgiving, with his breathing machine on, me standing beside him, holding his cold, withered hand. I could not stop thinking about that hand.
And on one hand, I say; "why am I so sad?" And then my brain says; "uh, duh--it's only been seven months. You loved someone for forty plus years. You'e allowed to miss them.
I'd tell that to anyone. There'd be no question about it. Why is it so hard to tell yourself? Why am I so sad? I'm wearing fresh, clean clothes. Aren't I supposed to be unable to get out of bed if I'm so sad?