My dad died a few days ago. I knew the end was near for him, so I got in my car in Arizona and headed to Colorado. It was a 2 day drive but I figured I’d get some adrenalin going and make it in 1 day.
Which I would have except that hail and rain and wind got in the way and I had to stop overnight for safety reasons.
I don’t know what it is since Chuck died, but my body is the fucking energizer bunny; it can go and go and go, without faltering. In the long drive through New Mexico, up and down mountains, my body got stiff but I swear it could have gone on forever, stopping only to drink water now and again.
It was never like this for me until Chuck died. I’d get tired and sleep and eat like a normal person. In the 2 1/2 years since his death, my body just seems to go, no matter what. Something in front of me? Go around it, go over it, push my way through it…one way or another, I’m getting to the other side. I don’t give brain power to it; I just do it.
So, I stopped for a few hours rest in my drive and was fueling my car up early the next morning when I got the call that my dad died a couple hours earlier. I knew it would happen that way and, in a weird way, I was okay with it. I suppose I figured that if I was meant to be at his side, I would be. As I continued my trip through the mountains and into Colorado, I could feel my body getting sicker and sicker, so by the time I arrived at my brother’s, I was coughing and feeling congested. This cough has been with me for over a month but it worsened and my head filled up. Ultimately I took myself to urgent care and got medicine to quell it, forestalling the joy of hacking up a lung at my dad’s funeral this Friday.
All of which is to say, I’m so numb I can’t even feel grief over my dad’s death, but my body is telling me in no uncertain terms that, yeah, the grief is present. I’m already numb about Chuck, already feeling a gaping, hollow, emptiness inside of me, and this new death just kind of cycled right in with no emotional impact.
Is it just me or does anyone else peer into their own psyche and wonder at their mental health in grief? I know it’s normal, in the part of me that is still thinking, but in the other part of me that sits in judgement of myself, I wonder, oh, jesus, have I disassociated? Is that why I can’t feel anything? Is there something wrong with me?
Grief can make us feel crazy, even when we know we aren’t crazy. Every fucking thing under the sun goes under the microscope, usually to our detriment. My day and night thoughts are mostly Why can’t I remember anything of my 24 years with Chuck? Where is my memory of our years together? Why can’t I feel anything? Where is my passion for life? Am I crazy? Should I be worried about my lack of reaction to life in general?
It most definitely is not the time to google shit off of Web MD or anywhere else on the internet. I’ve found that the best thing for me to do is run my crazy thinking past my widowed community. I can get some modicum of comfort and reassurance there.
I don’t know much anymore, other than I’m doing the best I can, like all of us, and I’d like to say that life is wonderful and I’ve dealt with my grief and I’m on my merry way, but that would be a lie, lie, lie. There ain’t none of this shit that’s easy and I can’t pretend otherwise. But I do know, somewhere inside of me, that, even with all of this grief, there is mixed up in it so much love and I need to stay connected to that if I’m going to come through it.
Somehow. Somehow. Somehow…