April 19, 2011
17, ME Newsletter Vol 4, Issue 16
There are 17 unopened sympathy cards unsympathetically taking up space on my coffee table.
Staring them down over my bowl of supper, I realize it must be a sort of denial. I wish I could put a more solid explanation to it, but it’s rather vague to me still: I think I was finally coming out of my grief. I think I was finally getting to a point where I’d begun to lift my eyes and look around me.
It’s so much easier for me to be and remain introspective, but there is a world out there and I was thinking I wanted to be part of it. And then the cards started coming, precipitated by my mother’s death. Even as my pen finishes that last harsh word, I’m split-second analyzing it. Here’s what I decide: death differs from passing. They are not wholly interchangeable. But that’s a thesis for some other day.
Now I can say that there were 17 unopened sympathy cards. There are now 34 pieces: torn envelopes in one pile, flutter winged cards in another. Countless tears have run down my face. There are tears in my lap, tears on the back of my hand.
So close to the summit, I was looking forward to laying down my baggage. The bitter backhand of loss caught up with me and viciously slapped me down. Not quite all the way to the bottom, though not nearly half up the well-traveled stairclimb, either. Griefcase still firmly in hand, balanced on my stunned and motionless lap, I’m sure I’ll start to climb again. But not today. It’s just too soon.
Posted by jaselin at April 19, 2011 04:39 PM