It seems that there comes this time … a place… that you find yourself caught in without really being sure just how you got there. It's somewhere in between rock bottom and halfway up. Some days it is more one than the other but it is never JUST one OR the other.
It's been weeks now, and most people have returned to a somewhat normal state of living. Even we have found some kind of normality again. Heck, my dad even went to work today for the first time since it happened, and my mom was out with her cousin, making preparations for Christmas. Friday we have a dinner invitation. Sunday, tickets to the theatre I used to volunteer at. See… somehow normality and reality seems to be merging again.
Nah, it's a lie… It's pretence. Or rather… it is wishful thinking.
We are not ready for normality again. We are not longing for things to settle down and “get back to normal”. The “normal” we want we can never have again, so there is no wish to hurry it along. “Normal” means letting go of the closeness we are surrounded with from ourselves, each other and others around us. And most of all, the closeness of knowing he is still part of our everyday life. Right now he still is… but when “normal” happens… he will fade somewhat… we know that.
You look around and see all those people who stood with us outside the church less than two weeks ago, grieving, teary-eyed and shocked. And you see them picking up the pieces of their lives and moving on. And you wonder… How can they just pick up and move on like that? Have they forgotten? Was it that easy for them to get past this?
You know they haven't and that it wasn't. You know they hurt too. You want to reach out, talk to them, feel visible to them… but you don't. You remain silent. Because for weeks the whole world has been about you. You don't have a clue what is going on outside of what you have been through. You have talked, and talked, and talked… and they have talked and listened, and then talked some more. All of it about you. About what happened. About him. And now that you want to get up and move on with them you find yourself kind of left behind.
For weeks you have been shielded by them. They have not told you of other worries and troubles. They have even kept certain things from you because they didn't wish to “rub their joy in your face while you were down”… And so now, when you REALLY need to talk in a positive constructive way… all the talking has stopped. Now that you are finally able and willing to listen, wanting to heal and move on, and ready to let go … you find yourself alone.
You watch people and think: “They've moved on… and I don't have anything new to say to them. I want to talk… but what about? I don't know how or why or what. I just want to. But they've moved on”.
And then you feel helpless and small all over again.
And again, you feel incompatible with the world. How easy it would be to just fall silent and withdraw now. It feels like no one would notice. Like it would somehow release a sigh of relief and let people hurry back to their own lives again. And really, you wish them to. For their sake. Coz you know if you were in their place… in all likelihood, that's exactly what you would want to do now. You feel sorry for them. You don't want to keep dragging them back down with you. You feel inferior and useless coz you can't bounce back like they have. You find yourself holding the phone, listening to the dial tone for a while before hanging up again without even trying to dial the number. You feel alone and abandonned in that annoying childish and unreasonable way.
You want to talk about anything and everything… except this. You want to move on and be part of “normal” again too, like them. Only you don't know how. And you know no one can tell you, but still… you can't help thinking to yourself “a little company while I wait would be kind of nice right now”. But you don't want to outstay your welcome. You don't want to make people tired of listening to you going on and on about it. In fact, you fear you already have. So you just shut up… too frightened, confused and insecure to dare risk a bad reaction, knowing that if it came it would REALLY make you withdraw…
You can look people in the eye on the street and tell them straight about what happened without tears now – you have learned to talk about it. But you can't look anyone in the eye and tell them about the loneliness and emptiness that follows when everyone else moves on and you still are caught up in the past, trying to pick up the pieces. Who would have thought?