posted by Mary Lello, Saturday, June 5, 2010, 6:45 AM
I've asked people not to ask how I am but it's nearly impossible for people not to. As one of my dearest clients said to me "but it's what I most want to know, how you are!"
And it's the most difficult question for me to answer. A lot of days I'm doing OK, and sometimes better then OK. I can still laugh and have a good time and look almost normal I suppose. But this grief monster is a sneaky beast and grabs me at odd times - inconvenient times - while shopping or driving, or sitting in my office between clients. I'll not be thinking of Jim and going along with some mundane task when I'm hit by a tsunami wave that can knock me onto my knees and then sucks me back down into the depth of despair where I resurface with the other detritus, get reoriented, and continue to put one foot in front of the other.
Sometimes when this wave hits I just can't allow the tears to flow too freely, it's not a good time. But at night, when I'm alone, if it hits then it's the fetal position for me. Isn't this where I'm suppose to pull myself off the bathroom floor, take off for Italy, buy a villa and write a book that Oprah scoops up and I live happily ever-after? Is this how the story goes?
But the beast doesn't always drag me into despair, sometimes I feel real cranky and impatient. I'm not so easy to be around when this tendril slithers over me; I don't want to talk, I snap easily at nothing, I want to just bite someone. It's probably best to leave me alone during this phase as it's all that I really want to have happen anyway.
And just this past week I have been unable to look at any pictures of Jim. I can look at the photos he's taken, but I can't look at that gorgeous, open, loving face of his. That rips my heart right out of my chest. So like some witch afraid to see her image in the mirror, I turn all the pictures of my best friend around.
So you see, "how are you?" is a trick question for me. I don't mind that you ask and I understand that's it's asked with real compassion and care. Just know that if I say "OK", I might be lying ... then again it might be one of those moments when I really am, OK.
just be patient with me, like the Maine weather if you just wait a minute the storm can pass that quickly.
Loving you all back,