The day after the funeral, people started asking me "How you doing...getting better?" Or, "Now things should get easier." "At least that's over...it'll be hard but at least things will return to normal."
I suppose the well-intentioned but misguided remarks come out of not knowing what to say. After all, what does one do with a person who is sad? How do you speak to that person about your plans for Thanksgiving, or remind them that they owe you $27?
At what point does mourning become a bother?
This process is new to me. I'm not sure what to expect from it. I'm not sure how far my inner resources will take me. I don't know at what point my heart will have had enough time...I wonder when I can start everything up again.
Grief is uncomfortable for a lot of people. They'd like to get it tidied out of the way. I cleaned up Sandy's bedroom two hours after she died, so her husband wouldn't have to come back home to hospice supplies, a rubber sheet, the aftermath of paramedics and fear and horror. Is it like that for people? They don't want to examine the frailty and uncertainty, the damage of death?
I don't know. I don't understand it. But I can see the need in their eyes when they ask me how I am - the anxiety that I might take my walls down and talk about my real feelings. Such a sense of relief when I stick to "I'm fine, thanks."
As a rule, I'm not a sharer. None of those people are in particular danger of having to soothe my sorrowing tears. But when I see how eager they are to pretend it never happened, to act like no one died, I think they might be cheating themselves. Remember Rascal? Every precious page of that beautiful book is a drop of flavour and texture, colour and scent and love. Not because he has the raccoon, but because he's going to lose the raccoon.
I've decided. I will feel the hurt as keenly and as deliberately as I felt the joy and the love of her before. As carefully as I will, sometime later, feel the happiness of remembering her.
I will wait it out.
The end will come eventually.