Poorly. This is the opposite of good. Plus, I am poor.
It appears I am handling this poorly. This is because I show no emotion, even while reels of images storm through my head and the only thing to stop them is Netflix. I will always remember you, Netflix. You have been here for me for days and days, and I don’t even have to respond. I just go to the next episode.
If I start to feel, I don’t take a drug. I watch Orange Is The New Black or Weeds. I have watched more television since Ashton died than I did the entirety of his life.
I miss the fish channel.
I miss peeling skin off his feet. Putting Aquaphor on his lips while he was sleeping. His beckoning hand.
Him telling me he hated me. Him. Mouthing the simple liquid, ‘PowerAde’. Him. Pointing to the sink. Him, nodding his head, YES when I said so many times a day, You Know I Love You? Right?
Me. Retraining him when he was on steroids. Him. Asking too many questions.
A long, long time ago in March he asked me if he were going to die. I really didn’t think so.
I think, what hurts the most not his being gone, it’s the torture he went through. It wasn’t cancer or even chemo that tortured him, it was Graft vs. Host Disease. A nasty predator. It stalked my son. It wanted his eyes, and more than that.
Hmm…I don’t think I’m doing very well.
This is bad.
Who says you are “supposed” to be doing well?
I don’t believe there is a script for this kind of thing – or an expectation – or a right or wrong way to grieve and slowly slowly begin to relieve the burden you carry of all that has happened – and eventually come to believe the worn out yet ever so true statement we all say….that “life goes on”. It does – for those of us left after loss – and it will for you. In time. Lots and lots of who-know-how-long-and-it-doesn’t-matter time.
And with the help of friends and strangers, with support and being alone, with Netflix distractions and full-on raw in your face moments, with running and not running, with two steps forward and a landslide back. You will feel nothing, and everything. It will suck – but it will get better.
You are a strong woman Erin, stronger than I imagine I would ever be. You grew into that strength over the last months….years…and you now know all YOU are capable of. Grief however, is generally best performed as a group activity. Find your tribe, before you feel consumed by it all, for there is greater strength in numbers.
And keep writing – for you, for the process, for Ashton, for others who are struggling. You have a lovely way with words, of expressing yourself with candid realness. Your blog has been an inspiration to me and countless others who follow you. Find your way through the words.
Sending Peace….lots of Peace on your head and in your heart.
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