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Archive for the ‘Grief and Loss’ Category

The beauty of fresh pain is that it’s almost, well, painless. Certainly there’s this initial punch and the air is knocked out of you, the world is knocked away from under you…but then it’s OK.  You don’t feel anything, not in your heart nor your limbs. Vision stays blurry and hearing stays muffled. Everything tastes bland.

And the world keeps spinning on its axis while you remain suspended in place.

My dad died of a sudden heart attack one week after our 2010  Christmas. The last time I saw my dad was on Christmas Day; we went to Lin’s Grand Buffet and I served him his food while he waited at the booth.

After he died, I existed for months in this cocoon of shock. I would wake up for a few hours at a time, maybe even a whole day. Then I would just retreat back into my dark place. The few times that I woke up from this fugue it wasn’t worth it.

I remember waking up for an entire week about two months after my dad died. This was in March.  I was reconnecting with my best friend, who was worried about me and how I was dealing with my dad’s death and my mom’s banishment of me from our family.

I saw her on a Monday. She died later that very same week. Aspirated on her own vomit after taking too many Sudafed, drinking too much codeine cough syrup from the doc, and washing it down with Vodka. I’m glad I saw her that week. I’m sorry I didn’t answer her drunken texts the night she died. I will always live with that pain. I retreated again. Even further.

I slept through Easter and woke up in time for my birthday. My Dirty Thirty Plus One got me out of the house; I realized that in the five months that I had been sleeping and breathing (and nothing more, I assure you of that) that things had changed around me. I had changed. And that first day I remember waking up and thinking, “So this is the beginning to recovery, to feeling better, to dealing with this pain. I can do this.”

I suppose my mom was right, at least concerning my thoughts for that day. I was, plainly and simply, delusional. For of course that was not the train of events to take place. No, no…that, friends and neighbors, was just the beginning of the true pain.

When you’re asleep, when you’re walking around in a fugue, when you stay intoxicated and inebriated, you can deal with the pain because you can’t feel the pain. It’s like having an epidural or any other anesthetic. You’re here, but you’re not present.

I woke up in early summer and regretted it. Because once the shock of the grief wears away, once the mind begins to stir and the heart begins to beat again, that’s when the real pain hits.

Imagine being hit by a car; the initial impact is nothing. It’s when you wake up in the hospital, it’s when you begin to recover, than you realize how hurt you really are.

I woke up in June and I’m still trying to figure out what happened to me, to my life as I knew it.

The pain gets sharper. The ache in the heart doesn’t fade…it becomes stronger. Everyday is a reminder that thousands more days of grief and loneliness stretch before me…a long one way road to nothingness.

So today I just do what I can do. I count down the hours to dusk and at dawn I will do it again. Just counting down the days, but to what end…I really don’t know.

And I don’t know that I care to find out.

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A Broken Cookie Jar

In less than a week, it will be eleven months since the only man who loved me died. During that period I quit writing. I quit eating. I quit listening to music with any type of meaning (I literally filled 22 days’ worth of music on ITunes that consisted of Lil Wayne, Waka Flocka Flame, and Twista). I quit caring.

Quite simply, I quit living.

This is the first time I’ve sat down and tried to deal with some of my thoughts since the day he died. It’s already a painful journey and it’s hasn’t even really begun, considering I’ve been living in a limbo, an alternate universe of sorts, for months.

It is absolutely true that I totally and completely dropped my basket. 2011. The year that not a single fuck was given. Through friends and once estranged family, I picked up the pieces I could, and the best that I could.

I picked up the pieces that weren’t pulverized; the pieces that weren’t slivers of pain in my hand, in my heart. There weren’t many left.

Sometimes I think I’m stronger, when I look back at where I was and where I am now. But most of the time I just feel broken.  Like damaged goods.

I had this cookie jar when I was a little girl; I wasn’t really allowed to use it because from the time I could remember, the jar was old and delicate and…special. It was a Raggedy Andy cookie jar, porcelain, with the paint rubbed off in many places. The porcelain had a shiny glaze; the green and white striped hat and the red braids were my favorite parts. And about a month after my dad died, just a few weeks before my mom cut me out, I went to my parents’ house to pick up some childhood items I’d left behind, and my mom gave me the cookie jar.

She placed it in a Walmart sack, and then set it on top of an open box I was in the process of moving. She didn’t tell me she had placed the sack there. I had no idea there was a breakable item in that bag. I carelessly slung the box across the floor and the sack fell down;  that cookie jar smashed into pieces, some loud and some muffled by the plastic. I remember screaming  hysterically, I’m sure much too overdramatically.  But I honestly felt my heart smashing along with that damn cookie jar. It represented so much to me, so much about my childhood and that time of my life when I was happy and stable and…hopeful.

The symbolic parallels need not be mentioned. It’s obvious.

I remember picking up the pieces that I could and placing them back into the sack, while my mom mumbled a half-assed apology and then chided me for not opening the sack and looking in it before I started slinging shit around to be packed into the car.

That was ten months ago; I still have that sack of broken cookie jar pieces.

Like my spirit, like my soul, there’s no point in trying to glue that cookie jar back together.  It won’t work right anymore. It will never work the same way again; it will never be the same jar. Pieces are missing. There are holes. Air gets through the holes and makes the inside stale.

A broken cookie jar with stale ass crumbs inside is pretty much all I have to offer.

And no one wants to put their hand inside a broken cookie jar and pull out what they know will be stale crumbs.

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