Grieving is hard. It's not a quick or easy process. Sometimes people ask me how I'm doing. I don't know how to answer that question. They're showing concern and acknowledging what I'm going through, but doesn't it seem like a question they know the answer to? "How are you?" "Not good. Rotten. Sad." And half the time I'm not sure if they really want the truth or if asking is a gesture. I can usually tell by the way it's asked or who's doing the asking. No one knows what to do or say, but that's ok. The trying matters.
I feel something different every day. Any hour of the day it could completely change. The feelings come at you so matter-of-fact, like a realization that you're hungry or remembering a task that needs to be done that day. I realized a couple weeks ago, I was angry. It almost made me laugh, I was so surprised and confused. I don't really get angry. Life is too short, people are too important, hearts are too fragile. But I felt like the girl in that movie Enchanted. Do you remember the scene where she realizes she's angry for the first time? That's kind of how it feels.
I do everything slower. I read slower, I respond to voicemail slower, I'm slower when I get ready to leave or do simple things like the dishes. I'm forgetful like my mind is moving slower. It's not that life is in slow motion - it's just me. And life is happening around me at its regular pace.
My adviser is wonderful. She's actually the reason I chose this school, and if you're thinking about grad school, let me give you a little advice. The adviser you choose to work with is just as important as the school you choose to attend. We had a meeting last Friday, and she asked how I'm doing. She wanted me to talk to her. She told me about her father's death and what she went through. And we cried together. Right there in her office, while we were supposed to be meeting about the research we're working on. Because in the middle of meetings, in the middle of routines, life is happening. I told her I feel like this is changing me, I keep saying that because it's a feeling I'm so conscious of, and she told me it would change me, but how was up to me. That made me feel a little more in control right when I'm feeling more out of control than ever.
I've been getting a lot of attention from guys lately, more than I'm used to. This perplexes me. How can I be attractive when I feel so not myself? One thing a friend told me would happen is that my emotions would be closer to the top, that I'd be more sensitive. That is happening, but I call it raw. I feel raw. Like the new skin that shows when you burn yourself. So today, I was wondering how in the world I'm sending a, "Come hither," message. And it occurred to me that maybe it's more of a, "Here I am," message. Maybe the raw honesty is attractive? I don't know.
It's not as unbelievable now. That he's gone. I think I'm starting to get used to it. And I hate that. It feels unnatural, like a betrayal. I want more hugs. He gave the best hugs. He squeezed tightly, and his hands were so strong you felt protected. In these last few years, whenever he hugged me, I held on longer. I wanted to cling to him all day long like a child clutching a teddy bear because of the comfort and safety it provides.
I try to act like myself, like everything's fine. That helps in some way, it helps me go through the motions and distract myself. I'm faking it to make it. But it's always there, the sad is always with me. In the pit of my stomach, the quickening of my pulse. I wonder if I'm fooling anyone. Or everyone.
I have a couple people I talk to, a couple I've tried to but can't, a couple I know I could if I needed to. I have no idea what my life will be like months from now. I can barely think about tomorrow or next week. It is a process. A process at least means it's something I'm moving through. Psalms 23 says, "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." Through. It's something you get through - not stay in forever. And on the other side, I will be different. I will be changed. But I will also be good.
Thanks. I promise a funner post tomorrow.