I fear I do not wear this well. Misdirected anger, schizophrenic tears, and then periods where I'm perfectly fine. Really, entire days in which loss is integrated and I go about my business like a normal person. I dip caramel apples and listen to music and laugh with friends. And then I'm barreled over by emotion once more.
I rage against traffic and people I deem stupid and the spider I caught creeping in the spare closet. "Son of a nutcracker" is employed regularly. I save more colorful language for my mind's running commentary.
I cry over the shock of losing Grandma, the kindness of friends, song lyrics, messed up plans, and the knowledge that none of my grandparents will attend my brother's wedding this weekend. I eat handfuls of candy corn, Brach's Autumn Mix to be precise, until the edge is sated.
This surprises me, even though I know my tendencies and even though I'm a certified thanatologist. I didn't think it would be like this, this time around.
Nighttime is the worst. The insomnia I laid to rest four years ago has returned. I'm drunk on sleep when it appears, craving a few more minutes of rest. Most nights I sit in bed and play Russian roulette with the clock. At what time shall I try to go to sleep? How long should I toss and turn?
I look at the empty space of flat bedding next to me and wish someone was there to comfort me. I stare at the ink on my left wrist until it blurs. I am beloved, I remind myself. I haven't woken myself up from crying yet but the ache about did me in when it happened four years ago.
I get to a point in my prayers where I turn it over to the Holy Spirit. "You're going to have to take it from here," I say. For someone who prides herself on usually knowing what to say and how to say it, there are moments when I can't quite explain the contents of my heart.
So much about four years ago is different from what I face now. Different losses, different relationships, different me. But elaboration on any of these would require a glass of wine, a lengthy friendship between you and I, and time spent face to face, at the very least. Or two out of the three if I'm feeling generous.
However, if you somehow procured a Black Thai Tea Latte from Caribou, I'd be putty in your hands.
In the meantime, I process through this goodbye one day at a time, one piece at a time. And hope that sleep will bless me tonight.
(I promise not all of my posts will be grief-related from here on out. Thank you for indulging me.)