On Grief

Notes for Mom

I can’t explain grief. Where are the words? Is it the aftermath? Is it the absence? Maybe it’s making it through that first day back to work. Maybe it’s signing that sick form “my mom died.” Maybe it’s getting in the car only to realize your weekend plans don’t include a visit to Mom’s house. Maybe it’s realizing the fall foliage she had been waiting to photograph peaked while she was lying in a hospital bed, dying of cancer and pneumonia. Maybe it’s autumn leaves mixing into a blur hard to distinguish from gray. Maybe it’s the hole you’ve been trying to dig out of since the nightmare that began two Saturdays ago – the one in ICU 13. Maybe it’s the wave that takes you under; the rip current tugging you from treatment to hospital, hospital to casket, casket to emptiness. Maybe it’s the social anxiety that paralyzes you, rendering you unable to attend important events. Maybe it’s the dream – the one where you’re trapped in hospital room trying desperately to save her life, knowing how the story ends. I can’t explain grief. Where are the words?

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