August 11, 2016

You Are Alive

The day was bookmarked by tears.

The tears weren’t necessarily shed in a bad way, although they were tears of grief and remembrance and bereavement. Tears of not yet, but almost. Tears of I remember and never want to forget. Tears of celebration and memory and love and peace and confusion and fear. Tears nonetheless. Tears after a text and another one and the next one. Tears of what I would do. Tears of advice. Tears of not knowing.

The dawn is dark and not yet arrived. You sit in your sleeping clothes, bleary eyed and barely awake. The glow of your phone the only light. Each letter a tear drop. Letting go feels so good. The gentle flow of a good cry, rolling into heavier sobs, and then the release of surrender. Head bent. Lungs heaving. Alone except for the premature grief.

You get up. Put the phone down. Get in the shower. Succumb to the bizarre ritual of routine. Brush the teeth. Deodorant. Wax the hair. Look in the mirror. Put on the mask. A professional. A human being. Ready for the world.

You go to work and attend the meetings. Learn about assessment. Pitch in. Contribute. Shut down parts of your being for a few hours. Eat food. Put out small fires. Learn your new role. Move. Shake. Work.

Back home, you make dinner for your kids. You should be hugging, loving and cherishing them, but the latent numbness makes it hard. They’re watching TV, so you go to your room. To your bed and sing sad songs. They feel obligatory. The words dripping from your lips like barely audible prayers. The tears waiting, but hesitant. You’re not ready for another full-on session.

You think of her. You remember smiles and laughter and jokes and thanksgiving and breakfasts and hospital rooms and so much more. You wait. The real grief is still to come, hidden just beneath the surface waiting to be unlocked. These days are just the light showers before the storm. You are not really sad. You have no words for these new emotions. You cry in the dark. You do your job. You smile and make small talk. You eat. You sing songs.

You are alive. You are alive. You are alive

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