Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Day After

I didn't think it was possible to miss TJ any more than I already do, but I was mistaken.  Since Grandpa died, I've cried more over TJ than anything else.  It makes TJ's absence even more painful.  Any time I feared, any time I felt sad, TJ was there to help guide me out of the dark.  He held me, made me feel safe.  He is all I know.  Losing Grandpa and TJ both has been a bigger blow that I realized.  It's more evident now that the hustle, planning, and services are over.  It's the same let down as before.  It's the dam breaking.  You have so much to focus on between the death and services.  Lots of things to do, events to anticipate.  But when it's over all you're left with is your grief.

Two strong men in my life are gone.  Two men who made me feel safe, made me feel loved, will never walk this earth again.  I'll never hear their soothing voices.  I'll never feel their arms wrap around me tight.  I'd dreaded my Grandpa's death in the past couple of years.  Speculating, worrying.  The images in my head, the events to transpire... that picture always included TJ.  Being able to collapse into his arms when I got the call.  Having him hold me during the viewing.  Being able to bury my head into his shoulder to weep.  Feeling his hand in mine during the services, squeezing mine tightly.  I never could have imagined the tragedy of losing TJ first. 

Three deaths in 7 months.  I feel numb regarding my grandfather's death.  Like my brain won't allow me to process it fully as a defense mechanism.  At the viewing my grandmother embraced me and cried harder than I have ever seen her cry.  Finally she said to me "oh, dear-heart, you've had a double whammy".  I thought she'd been crying for Grandpa.  I'm sure she was, but also crying for TJ and me.  When I went up to see Grandpa in his casket, when I got relatively close, the smell hit me like a punch in the chest.  The pungent smell of flowers mixed with the chemicals and cloth in and around Grandpa's body.  I hadn't gone up to see Uncle Spud in his casket when he'd died.  Now I'm thankful that I didn't.  Those scents brought everything back for me.  I couldn't bring myself to touch even his hand, knowing all too well how cold and stiff he would feel.  He looked good, though.  Like he'd sit up and say something.  TJ looked so very painfully dead to me.  He didn't look at all like himself.  People commented on how good he looked, but I just couldn't see it.  The way he was lying with his head on the pillow, his lips- lifeless and wrinkled.  I don't want to remember him that way.  But the image, the scents, the emotions are with me.  Carved forever into my memory. 

I don't know what to do with myself tomorrow.  Or the day after that.  Or the day after that.  I have no motivation.  I have no energy.  I will wake up tomorrow just as I have every day for the past 7 and a half months.  Alone and wondering.  I can't even tell you what I've done with myself.  It all blurs together.  Every day blending into the next.  Little series of blips come up: Spud's funeral, quitting my job, traveling to Alaska... but every other day is just that.  A day.  Just another day that I have to live through.  I guess that's how I get through each day without TJ.  I wake up alone, I try to fill my days.  I end up thinking about how to start my life over again, along with mourning my love and my life lost.  I lie awake and count the hours until it's acceptable to try to sleep, and then go to bed knowing I'll do it all again.  Living like that for days, weeks, and months.  Biding my time until the day where the fog will begin to lift and show me my new path.  Until then I suppose I'll just concentrate on breathing.

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