Today was an emotional day for me. It was harder to focus, harder to be alone at my desk, harder to breathe. There was more pacing today, too. And more getting lost staring at Mack’s photos that are organized around my desk. While looking at one photo of the two of us from the day we moved her to Truman State, I started weeping because I noticed her knees were actually at about the same height as mine but still she towered over me in height. Why hadn’t I ever noticed that before? Whew…breathe. There have been far more tears today than there were yesterday and there were also more numerous and more haunting ghosts in my mind trying to break the steely, determined hold of my eyes on the computer screen. But, 4 p.m. arrived, and I had somehow powered through; and I even accomplished a few tasks, although I am completely exhausted from the effort.
For me, grief is a rollercoaster, and I fucking hate rollercoasters. In seconds I go from breathlessness to anxiety to panic to screaming to crying to waves of nausea. Mack didn’t like rollercoasters either. Motion sickness kept her on the ground while she watched her friends ride; but also, rollercoasters never suited her personality anyway. She favored the ground under her feet. She preferred to be calm and steady and she always, always steered clear of anxiety and panic. She shunned personal drama and despised weepy emotionalism. So while I think she would understand why this rollercoaster is making her mom so miserable, she’d also look me in the eye and say “get off it, woman.”
And so, for the hours that remain of this awful day, I am going to try to do just that.