Last week I lost my good friend Joe and then, less than forty-eight hours later, my grandfather died.
To say that the past seven days have been rough would be an understatement. I wake up each morning remembering that they’re no longer here, that I won’t see Joe at school in a few weeks, and that my grandpa won’t be around for Christmas this year. Right now I’m trying out a new normal that feels itchy and bruised and painful.
I don’t feel angry even though both their deaths could have been avoided and were messy. I don’t feel anything at all, really, and then, a second later, I feel everything. I feel too much, too deeply and too overwhelming. There is no in between, I’m either completely fine or completely wrong.
I know so many people are waiting to hear my words, my memories of these two men. The night Joe died, I couldn’t turn away from Facebook, couldn’t turn away from the memories people were posting. Friends and coworkers were sharing their disbelief, their shock, and their hurt and it felt good and comforting to know that the things I was feeling were being echoed by others. That I wasn’t alone in my pain, my loss, and my confusion.
And now people are waiting for more of that. Friends have mentioned they’re looking forward to what I have to say about Joe. And my beautiful memories of my grandpa, they can’t wait to read stories about his life and who he was.
But I don’t have any words yet.
I am consumed by the thought of these two no longer being in my life. But I don’t know how to write about it yet. I don’t know how to tell the world about them in a way that would do them justice and honor. Because that’s what they deserve.
That’s where I’m at right now, why there was silence last week, and why there might be more. The words will come eventually, I’m sure. They always do and it’s normally when I least expect it.
In the mean time, these from Anne Lamott will have to do:
You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you will never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly–that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.