Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

Oh, who am I kidding-

There is no Robot-Lego FlashDance going on — I don’t even own legos. I am working my ass off, writing whenever I get a spare moment, and trying to figure out, as we say in the business, Next Steps.

The experts say I am in the “Reorganization Phase” –
the period after a death where one must deeply realize this loss is real, and must go about “reorganizing” one’s life to fit this new element; or, rather, the new void.

I say I am in the Stoneface Phase –
the time where every mention/thought/memory of my brother’s death is met with blank emotion.
I have no opinion.
Everything: tedious.
A waste of time to discuss a subject about which I hold no point of view.
-He is dead.
-This is life.
-Here I go.

It is a very strange place for me to be. I am not typically an ‘emotionless’ individual (my boyfriend would have a word or two to say about this). And I’m not emotionless– about anything other than Chris’ passing:

Work? Stressed! Summer? Joyous! Writing? Inspired! Future? Excited!

And then my mom mentions that before I run off to another country again, she, my father and I need to “go to the grove. We really do,” which is code for spread my brother’s ashes. We still have… not.

“Yeah, unh-huh. So,” I say, “did you notice there’s a sale on tomatos at the grocery store? We should get some.”

She walks away. Maybe she thinks I didn’t hear her-

I run into someone at the gym. Someone I have not seen in 8 months. She knew my brother. I have to tell her.

Glassy-eyed and half-smiling, I wait for her to finish condolences, a squeeze on the arm.

“I’m so, so sorry.”

“Yeah, unh-huh. So,” I say, “did I mention your ass looks good in those bike shorts? Really, good for you. You should be proud.”

She walks away. Maybe she thinks I didn’t-

* * *

I am moving on with life! There is magic waiting for me! Unexpected momentum! Things will be right again & clean & beautiful & e-a-s-y! There will be “smooth new prizes” that blossom from old rough roads! The worst is behind me!

And yet every time I go in to see that damn therapist, she looks at me with pity in her eyes when I — very confidently now — answer her question to “how are you feeling? How are you feeling about your brother?” with:

“Fine. Thanks. You?”

* * *

I don’t want to look back. Looking back is pain. The future is fresh, light, open- Open means the possibility of forgetfulness. Forgetting the pain… that is. There. Somewhere.

I want to keep walking forward, right in front of left, right-forward, left-forward, right-

-but then I remember we don’t walk forward facing our futures, blind to our past behind us. We walk slowly backwards, into the unknown, able to see only what came before.

§500 · July 13, 2008 · Unthinkable Loss · Tags: , , · [Print]

1 Comment to “Walking Backwards”

  1. Kari says:

    Touching. I’m sorry. You write well, and your ass has never looked better

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