Grief is a weird little animal. They tell you, from one side, that you’ll get over it one day, but that’s not quite true. They tell you, from another side, that you’re working toward a “new normal,” and I guess that’s closer, but that’s still not quite true. What’s true is that you’re plastic. Elastic. A mostly bendable brain-thing which is part of a slowly decaying body-thing that learns to adapt to other beings in a constantly morphing community-thing. And changing is disruptive. Dying is disruptive.
It’s also kind of arbitrary. The abnormal thing is how any of this functions, why anything at all is alive. Death, I suppose, feels reasonable then. But if matter forms into these bizarre little structures which produce this phenomenon “consciousness,” why does that have to end?
Analytical thought is a safe ground. Like gools or base in a game of tag, if I’m standing in my analytic ring, I can’t be tagged by grim thoughts. I’m off limits. I’m free. I can pretend I’m not grieving. I can play hide and seek with my tears. If I am playing children’s games, I am like a child: I will never tire, I will never falter, I will never have to give up. I will analyze things until the grief cries out, “I give up!” and then the game will end and we’ll all have cake. This is how it works. This is why I go round with it.
But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s gone, and won’t be there for cake. And if he can’t be there for cake, I have to get used to it. I have to be elastic, like a rubber band. Bounce back, bounce back. It doesn’t work like that.
I will go over the facts again: I couldn’t call on his birthday, because he’s gone, and he’s gone so I can’t reconnect. I am not the only one grieving, nor am I the closest one grieving. What right have I to grieve?
Yes, let’s sort the facts.
“1, 2, 3, my gools!”
Let’s play tag again.