It has been over a month, and everyone has moved on with their lives. All the family, well-wishers, and friends shed their misery, returning to their regular routines. They were only so much noise anyway, drowning out the echoes without filling the void.
I showed every indication of possessing the strength to handle his death. Until this week’s slide. As it turns out, I am not doing well at all. My insides are grinding to a halt. I am lost and lonely and see little reason to move. I’m not fine, thank you for asking. (If you do ask, please note I will tell you that I am doing as well as can be expected, I have plenty of support and am making it through this. My struggle is none of your goddam business, and I don’t want to hear your greeting-card words of support.)
Every morning the idea of getting out of bed is more ludicrous than it was the day before. Each night I spend less time sleeping. Each day I spend more time crying. More and more often I accept gravity’s invitation to lie on the floor staring at nothing. Thinking of nothing. Being nothing.
Mommy instincts keep me moving forward, keep me going to work, keep me showering at least once every three days whether I need it or not. I cry at work now. I stare at the screen. I’m behind, and I just don’t give a fuck. If there were no kids, I would be on the floor in my favorite knee socks and a blanket. Am I supposed to care that someone’s office will be painted two days late?
Little League, school meetings, homework, dinners – I force all the trappings of normal family life while stealing moments to hide away and be nothing. I wear my person mask for the coworkers, the parents, and the kids. Washing dishes, folding laundry I can wear the bright red snot nosed face of the hopelessly distraught and enraged. In my room, however, in my room and after the kids go to bed – there I can be catatonic zombie. That’s my favorite. That’s where I want to live.