School, first day of school. Mis-managed, mis-timed. Tears while dropping Langston off. Art was looking forward to taking Langston every day to school with him. First day at Pallas and Ezra's which involves a locked gate, teachers on a balcony blowing bubbles and a count down. No oj, not enough eggs and toast eaten on the drive. No make-up, and hair .... can't remember what I did with it. Two weeks of no sleep clear under my eyes.
Parent coffee and I watch someone avoid me.
The fall is saturated with him. September is Art. Under these circumstances, a new routine causes the ground to sink. I remember that my life is not steady. I feel his loss come in closer, like it's not close enough, ready to smother me.
Today, the day after I'm tired, achy, have a headache. A realization arrives. That break, that allusive get away that I thougth school would bring is not coming. It's just another routine, another adjustment to make in this life without. And the kids ate toast again while I tried to see through the tears on the way to school.
"Is it too late to help." she wanted to know.
To late? Is there an expiration date on this experience?
At least she asked. She wanted to know, but you! I see you and I hate your inability to approach me. I hate your guilt, your shame and your excuses.
"I thought about you all summer. I keep meaning to call you" then comes the smile in which you want me to forgive you like I'm some priest.
Don't confess to me! I am not about to absolve you.
Bone the (@)*# up! Your cowardice is not my responsibility. Your inability to be willing to risk, your inability to say ANYTHING, to make a mistake is NOT my responsibility. I simply refuse to help you. I am the one who needs the help.
I hate when you run from me, without even having the decency to telling me you're running. "I can't deal with death right now. This is hitting too close." someone else said to me. That's an acknowledgment of where I am and of where you are. It's perfect. And she was not running, she was stepping in, closer and being real.
But no, you're so afraid, so in your damn head, that you actually think you might say something that would make me feel worse? How in hell can you make ME feel worse?!
Saying "I don't know what to say" is a good thing to say. And then afterwards there may be an uncomfortable silence and that's ok too.
But you can't even do that, can you? I hate you for all of your other friends you have left behind in your shame and your insecurities.
I hate you for the 700,000 women in the US who will become widows this year and then be abandoned by their "friends." How dare you! I hate you for all the widows from 9/11! How dare you not be able to face your own demons around this while I, we the widows, face our own every frickin' moment of every frickin' day.
I hate you for reaching out only sort of, pretending to be a friend but only when it's convenient for you. I hate you for your self-absorption. That's what it is, you're so self absorbed you think my pain will spread to you like the H1N1 virus and you think it will make you just as sick, too.
I have been kind and patient to you in my grief. I have told myself over and over "This must be hard for them, not knowing what to do and say." I @()$#* gave to you when I should have been receiving! I did it because I thought you'd bone up. Cause I thought you would have the courage to say "I will do something, even if it's the wrong thing. I will take action." And then follow it with action. Instead, you slunk away.
You slunk around in the beginning, saying to yourself, I should, I will , I'll wait until...and now here it is and you haven't and now you are filled with shame and instead of walking into that shame and acknowledging it, you slink past me as if I'm not here.
Real life is not clean or neat, and not lived in emotional boxes. You can't wave in love, joy, respect, courage, envy, hurt, disappointment then decide which one you want to take on. Life is not safe. It's dirty and deep and musky and raw and filthy. And you lose every time you ignore that. You lose by not at least sticking your toe in the discomfort and keeping it there for a moment. You lose yourself. You become less of a person. Discomfort makes you HUMAN!!
I will no longer extend my life vest. You built your boat. Damned if I know if it'll float. My energy is going to those who have stood up and said "OMG, I need to help" and have helped in their awkward, not always great ways, but they tried, they opened their mouths and words came out. And they did not want me to forgive them their errors. They owned them and I lovve them for that.
For now, I don't want you to come near me. I am done with you. Don't call, dont' try to make it better, unles you are willing to show up as a real person. Then all will be absolved, not by me but by you.