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Chopsticks

Grieving Cherie

How’s it going you ask…

I know, being around me can feel awkward…truth be told, at times it isn’t exactly a picnic being around you either.

It’s obvious that you’re not sure how to act around me these days. Rest assured, I’m the same guy I was before her death. Same dry sense of humor, still flexibly dogmatic (if there is such a thing) and always a little on the cocky side. But mainly I’m just sad…very, very sad.

You may feel obligated to speak with me, and I might actually be eager for some conversation. But then again I might not. I don’t know what to tell you, it’s a crap shoot! 

You may be trying to avoid me. I hope you realize you’re not fooling anyone. I can see you devising an escape plan as I approach. Please know, I don’t expect you to have some deep-rooted words of wisdom,  a simple acknowledgement, a smile, or tap on the shoulder will do.   

Did you know that making excuses for not attending the funeral irks me. Not because you didn’t show, but because I’ve grown weary of having to make you feel better about your decision. Your feeling guilty about that is something you’ll just have to cope with on your own—it’s not my job!

I’m not interested in your position on Covid-19, masks or vaccinations. Choose something else to talk about—really choose something else.

I’m not seeking advice from people who have no concept of what its like to lose a child..much less two. You don’t know…you don’t know…believe me, you really don’t know.

It’s hard to put into words how taxing grief can be physically, mentally, and emotionally. Processing information is like trying to push thoughts through jello. There are some probing questions that are more than I can handle. Being forced to respond to what feels like unsolicited interrogations is exhausting. 

What I need right now are intervals of stillness. Moments that are mine and mine alone; short breaks where obligations and responsibilities take a step back. A span of time where curiosity and I are free to concentrate on just one single task of my own choosing.

For instance, today I crossed an item off my bucket list. Today I was determined to learn how to use chopsticks.  Just a set of chopsticks, YouTube and me alone on my remote cerebral island.   I’m not ready to catch houseflies in mid flight like Mr Miyagi just yet, but I am batting 1000 at snatching mini marshmallows from off a plate. Yay me!

Sounds crazy, right?  That’s because you have no concept of what its like to live in the wake of the death of a child. But I do, and I’ll take these little victories, small steps towards recovering my sanity.  

I don’t need to pour myself into yet another book on grief. I just need to bring simplicity back into my life — like chopsticks.  

Tomorrow I think I’m going to take a stab at the perfectly poached egg. But tonight, me and my chopsticks are going to strut our stuff at our local Chinese restaurant. 

So, that’s how I’m doing.  I will get past this. But for now, I just need some time to process it all. 

Photo by JRGould on Foter

10 thoughts on “Chopsticks

  1. I don’t have words that can make anything better…I want you to know that I care and you, Jan, Jeanine and family are in my prayers every night.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Eugene, It’s with a heavy heart that I read your Patchwork posting. I’m thankful you are able to express yourself through writing. Your sadness is so painful. I don’t know how to help you and your family but I love you dearly. I pray you have some silent moments for yourself today. Love, Joanne

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gene, what a beautiful, honest expression of your grief. Enjoy your simple victories… and your chopsticks. I’m curious how those poached eggs turn out 😎

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I totally agree with you Gene. Nobody knows what you are going through. Even if someone has lost a child – even if they’ve lost 2 and in similar circumstances – they still don’t know how you feel, because they are not you. Everybody reacts differently to situations and nobody else has your subconscious mind, your past, your temperament, and your complete circumstances. The bereaved may have a certain empathy that others who have not, but the only person who really knows what you are going through is God.

    You are right also, to refuse to bear the guilt of others for not attending the funeral. I have a motto which I stick to which is, ‘People do what they want to do.’ If someone did not attend and then claimed they had every intention, unless they were very ill, the reason they forgot was because it was not important enough to them. Selfishness, apathy and laziness are usually to blame for the lack of support. If they really wanted to get there, they would have. It’s like when people claim they meant to give someone a card. If we really care we will go out of our way to traipse to the shops, choose one and then go out of our way even more to obtain a stamp. We will then search for a post box and pop it in. In this age we are living in, one doesn’t even need to go out of the house. A card could be ordered online, personalised by the vendor and then sent to the recipient directly. So if people are saying how busy they were that they couldn’t send you a note of sympathy, that is bull also.

    I love your openness and honesty about how you feel and if people are uncomfortable with that, then you have hit a nerve.

    May we all learn from posts like this, to be more outward-looking and to be the friends we were created to be!

    Nobody would want to be put in your shoes. What you have been through is horrible and I’m sorry that it’s been made worse by these insensitive people around you.

    Enjoy your chopsticks. You know you’re a pro when you can pick up a mouthful of rice.

    Liked by 2 people

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