I wanted this year to start with laughter and smiles and cookies and fizzy soda. I didn’t want confetti and champagne and fireworks and streamers – I just wanted smiling. I just wanted this year to start happy.
I’m still trying to find the happy. Yes, my heart lifts when I hug my children and my lips curve when they giggle but the last week of last year and the first week of this year have been covered in a thick blanket of fever and snot and heartache and it’s been hard to find the laughter. And although Nyquil takes the edge off the fever and snot, there aren’t sufficient meds for heartache, Ativan and Xanax notwithstanding. Last week was much, much harder than I thought it would be – doing the final clean-up of my dad’s place in the week between Christmas and New Year’s was, in hindsight, less than ideal timing. Coping with the heart-punches of the holidays was difficult enough without throwing myself into the line of fire of the gut-kicks and soul-wedgies that came with seeing the last of his things carted away, his home wiped clean of his presence.
I feel like I’m grieving anew. And I feel like I’m grieving out of pace with how I should, out of pace with what is expected. Which shouldn’t matter, but it does, because I have to account for myself, I have work to do, I have responsibilities, and there’s a limit to how much space I can carve out for these depressions before the voices – mine, others – say, isn’t that enough? Get on with your life.
There’s a limit to how much I can say about all this – how much dark poetry I can attempt to wring from all this – before it gets old and tiresome and done. I know that grief doesn’t follow a schedule, but I also know that one shouldn’t dwell in grief indefinitely. There’s time for grief, and there’s time for letting go of grief, and I simply don’t know the measure between these.
Maybe it’s just the fever. Maybe I’ll feel better once the fog lifts and I feel strong again.
Or maybe Emilia just needs to keep adding to her Blair SnowWitch Project in the backyard until I get spooked out of my malaise. That could work, too.