Friday, September 27, 2013

two years

"It hurts just as much as its worth." 
Two years came and went on Monday.  I was bracing myself for the pain on Sunday night, when my husband casually asked me "So, who dies tonight?"  I froze before I realized he was talking about the TV show we were about to watch with anticipation. But that was a defining moment.  We grieve alone.

I did have a bad night then and the next one, but the cutting pain just wasn't there.  The quote above is from Julian Barnes.  In his memoir about the death of his wife (which I haven't read yet) he speaks of the well-meant and misguided consolations people would give him.  One of them struck me: "two years, they say."  He, like me, scoffed at such measures.  And yet my body tells me differently.  Maybe there is a biological limit to how much you can hurt.  If it doesn't kill you...

So where does this leave me?  Is that all it was worth?  Two years' worth?  Has the pain evolved into something else?  Or has a part of me died?

"And lead me to some slender rest
And please dismiss what I confess" ~ Two Gallants

Sunday, September 22, 2013


The pain that had escalated when I came back from abroad has curiously receded.  I'm not sure when it first disappeared - it is like with hiccoughs - how do you know which one is the last one, until they have stopped for a while - but it's into the weeks now.  Sometimes when I wake I even probe around for the pain, I know how it would feel, I feel its echo, yet, no, it doesn't come.

About a week ago I had an unsettling dream.  I was in a sewing contest (yes, like the reality TV show) but then my son's corpse was there and I noticed he had a cut on his finger (in reality he did have some nicks on his hands, but his was a larger one).  I started sewing up the cut.  His flesh was supple, but it didn't bleed, yet though I knew he couldn't feel it I winced at each prick.  That may be when I lost the pain, when I was numbed to it.

Later in the dream I regretted using the needle.  I should have glued it, I thought, like they did the cut on his scalp when he was little and his friend made him jump off the piano.