LALALALALALAAA CAN’T HEAR YOU my brain singsongs, its fingers stuck in its ears as the throbbing, whimpering thing in my chest emotes and aches. LALALALALAAAA let’s think about HAIR MOUSSE! and MEN! and VODKA COCKTAILS! and A NEW SUMMER SKIRT! and MOUNTAINS! and BUSINESS TRIPS! and THAT WAD OF PRIMAL GOO THAT’S BLOCKING THE BATHTUB DRAIN!
My brain has given itself Chiclet veneers to cover the rot underneath. I fell apart a few weeks before their birthday. Then that day came and went and in the past six weeks I’ve lamented everything except Liam. What to do with this life. What to do with an unwanted minivan. How to ease off on paying work in the interest of making time for possibly dream-fulfilling work. How to possibly ease off on paying work after losing ten thousand dollars on a minivan that is apparently unwanted by everyone else, too. How to get my mojo back. How to shake this angry pallor.
Scratch that last one. I’ve got grief exhaustion. I haven’t got any more profound left in me. I’m tired of being honourable. Not as-in ‘sick of it’ but just plain tired. Tapped. There’s the first day he died, then the second day he died, then the six weeks in between: the day of his heart surgery, through his steroid-fuelled bloom, the day his brain began to flood. And one year ago today: the day they tried to fix it and he said that’s it, world. I think I’ve had enough.
This weekend we go to be with him, just the two of us, to see if we can spot his urn in the creekbed again. We’ll take our red canoe, paddle through the everglades that lead to the gnarly, twin-trunked maple that canopies over his gurgling eddy.
I’m bringing rum. And after that I’m going to try and honour him by allowing myself to be human, not just some shadow of a human.
His soft, floppy body lies pressed to your skin and no matter your own heat, you can't keep him warm. From the inside-out, he is the still coolness of the end of life. Then his spirit is lifted into mystery, and it is done. And forever after that you take your own breaths under pressure: pressure to be in a state of constant spiritual vigilance, of love, of gratitude.
It’s impossible. I can only be so serene. It’s just not in my nature, except in fleeting moments. So I hope for one, just one, sometime tomorrow night.