Laryngitis. Week 4. Here we go.
Not being able to hold real conversations, I have had a lot of time in my head. It reminds me of the days I spent mostly alone, after Isaac’s death, before I found the guts to work– and eventually ‘live’–again. There is a smallness and a vastness to my life that I carry, alone– inside– away from everyone. This is just the truth now, as a childless mama, but feels almost caricatural with the voicelessness.
Someone I adore recently asked me how I was. I teared up– I can’t recall the last time I was asked. I get it, I’m sure folks are afraid of my answer. Afraid to upset me. More comfortable avoiding the question. But not this brave heart who asked. So I was honest. I said it feels like there’s a glass wall between me and everyone else. We can see each other and sight makes things seem copacetic, but this barrier makes it so hard to connect in a deep and meaningful way. Is this protective? Is it awareness? Is it permanent? Is it removable?
I don’t know yet.
What you don’t know until you’re in it, is how much grief clings and lingers. It is like a house slowly filling up with smoke– it can take awhile to notice and then all of a sudden, you can’t escape it. There’s nothing that prepares you for this. Loss itself is such a catastrophe; but the way grief just envelops your life, it is not something I could have comprehended before this. I am all the time aware of how all encompassing Isaac’s death is in my life, just as his life was. Which maybe makes sense only to mamas who have lost children, but I don’t know– I haven’t experienced any other catastrophic losses. What the fuck do I know? My point is, I feel like I live just outside of real life, like I am wrapped in bubble wrap. Have I wrapped myself? Have others wrapped me up? I don’t know. I don’t know!
For a long time I felt different than my self, I couldn’t stop noticing that I felt un-me-like. It has now become my normal state– this is who I am now. I know this because I am no longer waiting until the dust settles or until I feel like me again. She died on the side of road that day she lost her one true person. She is not coming back without him.
New me IS curious. She is trying to figure things out. She smells things, she tastes, she appreciates. She wants to understand how things work. Including her very own self. She studies everything like it’s her job because it is, now. She knows the very scary truth; that things don’t always work out for the best, that not all problems have a solution & that everything does not happen for a mutherfucking reason, no matter who says that shitty shit to her. She is wide awake to this. But she can also see just how big love actually is. Small moments that add up to exquisite beauty despite the brutality running parallel to everything.
I’m skeptical about things and people in a way that I never used to be. I wish that weren’t true, but it is. I have these sincere moments where I want to make amends for judging people, as they’re happening. I want to stop and say “I’m sorry, I feel like I’m projecting a lot of pain and anger right now in your general vicinity because I’m tortured about something beyond my capacity to accept, comprehend and control. It’s causing me to feel really disconnected and bitter and it’s not the me I wanted to be, but it’s the me I’m working through some serious shit with and I can’t just abandon her because she really needs me right now. But please know that I do know it’s not you’re fault that you can’t possibly relate to where I’m at, and just because it feels like you don’t get me anymore doesn’t mean you don’t have value to me anymore”.
But, like, it isn’t exactly polite conversation, so I just think it and it helps me soften a little. I hope it atleast helps to know that I’m as uncomfortable with it as you are. Grief IS awkward and hard. But I think we should talk more about it, not less. Maybe it would help everyone if we talked about things that are hard to discuss. Everyone has shitty circumstances, we might just find a way to connect if we stop looking for sameness as a qualifier. I don’t know, damnit. I can’t even really talk right now so maybe all this is about that. In the end, we all know this pissiness in me comes down to one thing: I miss Isaac. I miss being a mama. I miss my innocence and naïveté and comfort. But more than anything, I just miss Isaac so much. It does not go away. I have to tell the truth about this; it doesn’t get better or go away– maybe other deaths do and can and should. But not our children. Not my only child.
I’m ok– really and truly, this is not a dismal and abysmal moment in time– this is how it is, man. Maybe that sucks to read, but it is what it is. I am also joyous and eager, I am also grateful and hungry for life.
Let there be space for all of me, all of you– for all of us. And so it is.
Namaste. In lake’ch. Blessed Be.