I’ve been debating whether or not to write this post for a few weeks now. I kept leaning to the side of not posting because, for one thing, this is bound to be a depressing read and, for another, writing it feels a bit self-indulgent and self-absorbed. But when I said on Twitter that I didn’t think anybody would want to read my “depressing shit,” a fair number said that this wasn’t the case and that they genuinely wanted to hear what I have to say. Knowing that people do want to hear and knowing that I don’t want to write twenty emails covering the same ground, I decided to go ahead and do this thing.
So, it’s been ten weeks. On some level, I think I’m still in shock. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I cry every day. Multiple times. I know my son is gone and the sorrow and pain that knowledge brings is unavoidable. It’s not quite as bad as it was four or five weeks ago, when I was crying nearly constantly, but it’s not significantly less, either. Moreover, I’m not sure I want it to be less. Why should it? The longer he is gone, the more I miss him. The more I miss the way he’d bound into my room when I was working to talk to me about something (remember the way Kramer would bound into Jerry’s apartment in Seinfeld? It was kind of like that) or the way he’d call me into his room to share something he’d found on YouTube or the way he’d hug me before he left for an overnight at a friend’s house. And that’s just a tiny list of things that comes to mind at this instant. I could go on and on.
But at the same time, I’m functional. I get up in the mornings and get my kids off to school and myself off to work. When I get to work, I actually get stuff done. For more than two months, someone brought us dinner almost every night or we ate out, but starting this week, I’m cooking again and I have to say that it’s nice to eat “our own” meals again. I really appreciated and enjoyed everything people brought, but you can only eat so many enchiladas and lasagnas before it starts to get old. (Not everyone brought enchiladas and lasagnas, mind you, but there were a lot of them. They are very practical and portable, after all.)
So from the outside, I think I probably look okay. Like I’ve already gotten over this monumental loss that I know I’m never really going to be over. And partly, that’s my choice. I don’t want people to feel like they have to tiptoe around me or, conversely, that they should ask probing questions about my emotional health (especially if they’re not close friends or family). And even with close friends and family, there’s a level on which I just don’t want to go “there”. I can get “there” on my own just fine, and I’d rather do that on my own schedule.
The one thing I haven’t been able to do with any consistency is write. I’ve tried and made a little progress on the YA story I posted a few weeks ago, but by “a little progress,” I really mean little. As in maybe I’ve added 1,000-1,500 words. I think a lot about writing–I plot scenes in my head as a way to get my mind of Julian when I’m trying to fall asleep and thank goodness, that does work. But when it comes to actually sitting down and getting words on paper (or the screen), I just don’t have the concentration. That’s not surprising, from what I hear. The experts say that grief is very consuming and tends to sap your ability to concentrate on anything else.
I’m not putting any expectations on myself at this point as to when (or even whether) I’ll ever write seriously again. I kind of doubt I’ll give it up for good (I tried that once before and was successful for about 10 years, but then the bug came back), but at this point, I have to concentrate on getting through each day as best I can and not think too much about the future.