Ramblings of the Grief-Stricken

June 21, 2013
I spin the mobile between my fingers, my eyes staring at the swirling colors. Somehow the image of the dancing rainbow doesn't quite make it into my mind.

Spinning it is about all I can get myself to do at the moment; also seeing it is too much work. My brain is on shock overload.

There’s too much to process.

I reminisce about how you taught me which “too” to use in that sentence. You will never teach that to another kid in the entire world. I’m sure you would choose to teach again if that was a choice you were capable of making, but you aren't. Your present state of being is…no, let’s not go there. I return to twirling the mobile.

When I drifted over to the computer to write this, the first file I saw in my folder was “poem for Mrs. C”. I froze, my eyes glued to the screen. It’s a fourth grader’s writing, not even completed, but I can feel the respect – the love – in the piece, as if they were tangible characteristics of our relationship.

I’m thinking of this piece as the runner-up, the sequel, to that poem. The epilogue. The story can’t go on from here, can it? That’s a rhetorical question, asked of no one but myself. I am insane, talking to my computer as if it holds the answers of life, of death. How irritating that ask.com can’t help me, now that these questions and answers actually make a difference in my obscure, insignificant life.

I can’t picture you as anything but alive, optimistic and loving. You just don’t fit into that awful category of “gone”. Your smiling face seems so out of place there, so unnatural. Why are you still smiling?

Your grandson goes to my school. He and I used to talk about you all the time, sharing memories. I’d tell him about how you used to teach us, the small handful of memories I still possessed from that year. You’d tell him about my fourth-grade self over the dinner table, and he’d report back to me during math class. You taught me how to multiply.

I haven’t talked to him since it happened.

That’s a lie. I lent him my math book yesterday. He said “please” and “thank you”. That was it.
We’re in different math classes now.

It was just yesterday that you sat on the red cushion on your Queen Chair, reading to us. That book was called Running Out of Time. How ironic. You had four short years left after closing the back cover of that book. No, I remember, that book wasn't about death; no book for fourth graders could be as dark and depressing as my feelings are right now.
You don’t deserve this.
Your grandson doesn’t deserve this.
Your family doesn’t deserve this.

I don’t get to decide. My opinion means nothing. I am an ant, carrying the burden of death. My fellow ants help me. Our futures are uncertain. Maybe death will descend and crush us all. It probably won’t, but that’s rational thinking, which isn’t permitted on these premises. If it was, I wouldn’t be an ant carrying the leaf of your death.

I am teetering on the line between normalcy and insanity. I am an ant. I am getting sidetracked. I will finish this later.

It’s been a couple of weeks now.

Somehow I’ve survived.

Somehow you didn’t.

Every time it hits me I’m sadly surprised. It changes my mood in a matter of seconds.

I wonder how your family will function without you. They love you.

We all do.

How will the world function without you?

It’s made it two weeks. That’s a start.

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