You wake up and for a second don’t remember. Then you blink your eyes once, and it all comes back. The grief, the loss, the heaviness behind the eyes that feels three feet deep, the bags under the eyes that feel full of lead.
But still you get up, and make your coffee, and put out your kid’s vitamins. Comfort in the quotidian, I suppose. The dog comes bounding down, bringing the first smile of the day. You get dressed, even though your heart is still in bed under every blanket in the house. You find the leash and the bag and the treat, and the delighting dog comes bounding over.
You feel like crying or keening, but instead the morning chill braces you and you notice the oblivious hummingbird, the obnoxious crow, the neighbor’s new poem, the few remaining patches of snow that have miraculously stayed white. You smile and nod at other people who are not crying, whose faces are not puffy with evidence of recent tears.
You do everything you can to avoid that chasm of emptiness where joy and light and gratitude once lived. You eat, knowing you really can’t afford to put on one more pound; you watch reruns of The Golden Girls; you make lists and lists of Things To Do, to occupy the void without filling it.
And maybe at some point in the day you stop and sit and look outside the window and wail. But you’re afraid that if you do that, you’ll never stop, and you can’t get anything done if you grieve. The solitary hours are the hardest.
You make a plan which you know is ridiculous. You call a friend which you know is a lifeline. You stay upbeat for appearances’ sake which you know is fraudulent.
And you remember you are not alone, that all of us lose someone or something that we can never get back. You remember that other people and other things will come that bring joy and love and delight.
You remember that waiting is terrible, even more terrible than grief.