Saturday, October 20, 2012


"All the time that I’d been thinking, I cannot continue to live, I’d also had the opposite thought, which was by far the more unbearable: that I would continue to live, and that every day for the rest of my life I would have to live without my mother. Sometimes I forgot this, like a trick of the brain, a primitive survival mechanism." 
The Love Of My Life
Cheryl Strayed

That piece of writing touches on almost everything I have experienced with grief.  Except the acting out.  I haven't been bad.  Not in any recognizable way anyway.  I have stuck to duty.  I have been mean maybe, impatient, but not self-indulgent.  Do 2-3 cigarettes a day count?  In the magnitude of my loss - hardly.

So is this it?  Have I overcome?  Have I healed?

"Healing is a small and ordinary and very burnt thing. And it’s one thing and one thing only: it’s doing what you have to do."

Done.  But it doesn't feel done.  It feels like everything might still fall apart at any minute - my carefully constructed ordinariness.  My body that feels as strong and fit as ever, with hardly a wrinkle marring my brow.  Surely this can't go on.  I will wake up one morning and not recognize myself in the mirror.

"Somewhere, floating on the surface of my subconscious, I believed — I still believe — that if I endured without her for one year, or five years, or ten years, or twenty, she would be given back to me; that her absence was a ruse, a darkly comic literary device, a terrible and surreal dream."

A surreal dream made all the more terrible by the lack of outward change.  I want to see the monster in the mirror.  

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