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

Stillborn

 

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I don’t know why it strikes some harder than others, there’s just no rhyme or reason to it. It seems that its intensity is not governed by love or relationship alone because there are many who have loved deeply yet did not experience grief with the same crippling force.  Continue reading

Tear to Open

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The package said, “Easy Open” — I tend to disagree.

Either I am woefully incompetent or it just isn’t all that easy. After failing to pull the tab with my arthritic fingers or rip it open with my teeth, I resorted to more drastic measures — a jackhammer and lightsaber later, I got it. Continue reading

Scars

Never before had words passed from fingertip to keyboard with such ease—or had my thoughts been so vividly articulated and carried such intense feeling. My poetic choice of words continually filled the screen at the top line of the first paragraph. Upon reaching the end of that line, they fell off the edge, cascading down the margin and plunging into a pool of floating letters at the bottom of the page. Continue reading

Beyond the Deluge

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It’s probably just me, but I don’t recall seeing the sunshine while coping with the worst of my grief. Days seemed chronically cold and dreary, the air was almost too thick to breath. I couldn’t seem to focus on anything that wasn’t held in my hand. Nights were long and restless, interrupted by the reoccurring nightmares that made the thought of returning to my pillow truly unappealing. Continue reading

In the Wake of the Edmund Fitzgerald

On November 10, 1975 the Great Lakes freighter, SS Edmund Fitzgerald was caught in the midst of a severe winter storm on Lake Superior. With near hurricane-force winds and waves up to 35 feet high, the Fitzgerald sank in waters 530 feet deep, approximately 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay.  Her crew of 29 all perished, and the bodies were never recovered. Continue reading