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