When you have a friend in town and are expected to entertain for the week, but are simultaneously carrying the heaviness of loosing a loved one these are the thoughts that come about…
I keep laughing. I keep dancing. I keep moving around the city. I drink and eat and talk and sleep, but I am not there. I am lost in the deep caverns of my broken heartedness. Swimming downward into the depths of grief and loss and confusion. I am friends with fish, but drowning without oxygen. The fish swim and I sink. They have gills while every bone in my body is broken. Broken legs and broken arms. A broken heart has no desire to surface from drowning in the oceans of its tears. Let me sink and let me cry.
I don’t want to be saved because Andy died.
I say I am excited for next semester. I brag about my internship. I nod and respond to conversations appropriately, but the truth is I don’t care. The drone of your voice is intoxicating. It makes me high. I float away while simultaneously trying to sit here. I have no taste for laughter, no taste for hope, no taste for you, my friend. Stale and bland. Dry and crumbling. The seasons of life have changed. A new year that I don’t want to be a part of. You talk of resolutions. I choke on my tears. It is a year without him. A year beginning when he is in the ground. I can’t make goals when my world is frozen. Not moving, not comprehending, just pretending. My life is an endless performance. I severed and burned the curtain to forever expose the stage. I like it that way because to end means to move on and I can’t close the book on a chapter that was never written.
For my mom I offer hope where I am a breeding ground of doubt and for my heart I offer peace where my mind is racked in fear. Andy died a horrific death and there is no closure in knowing that. My mom is loosing strength and there is no comfort in that. So I laugh and I sing and the movie continues to play, but I won’t remember what we did tonight when tomorrow comes. All I will recall is the fact that another day passed without him. It has been 35. 35 tiresome and bleak and dark and painful and heavy and somber and hopeless days. Days happen after tragedy, but life no longer exists. Your hug does little to warm an unresponsive heart. I know you care, but I just don’t. Bring my family flowers and cook us food. Send us cards and email song lyrics. It doesn’t do much good.
I want to close my eyes. When I sleep he visits me. He takes me riding with the angels. He shows me the place where he died. The flowers and signs. Red, there is so much red. He squeezes my hand, I cry as he starts to leave, and that is when I know the pain of the sun is approaching. It is the day that is the most painful. The conversations I have with you. Around plans and schedules and meet ups and relationships. Stop. Pause. Don’t make me participate. Sleeping. Sleeping is what I want to do. My legs are steel and my eyelids are taped open. I cry tears of nails that cut my soft skinned cheeks. You keep talking and I get it. You don’t know pain like this. But I want to tape your lips closed and ask you for some silence. I need space to grieve. I need time to cry. Those don’t come often that is why I choose to sleep so I may see Andy one more time.