4 months (and change, in all its meanings)
It’s been 129 days. The equivalent of eighteen weeks and 3 days; 185,760 minutes. Yesterday your life insurance check came in the mail. It’s not a princely sum by many standards but by individually relative ones it’s far more than I’m used to seeing written out. I don’t especially want it, even though I can, and likely will figure out how to, use it. Do I do something terribly practical like pay off a debt? Maybe slightly less practical but still in the family of pragmatism, I’ve been wanting to do some basic renovations in my bathrooms, bring them slightly into this century. It’s also occurred to me I could use it to travel somewhere that you always wanted to go. It wouldn’t be the same to go without you, but maybe you’d really be there with me anyway even though I couldn’t see you. I might also just put it in the bank and look at it for a while. It will remind me of you, in a sad but tangible way.
What would you want me to do with it? You’d say, I don’t know, do whatever you want with it. It’s yours. Except that, it doesn’t really feel like mine. It feels like a paltry valuation of your life’s worth. You were priceless. It feels like the epitome of cold comfort. It gives off no heat of its own. All it really does is further underscore your absence. It really happened; you died.
It’s nearly Christmas. We’re dealing in our own ways. I’m leaving town Christmas morning for a week. I have mixed feelings about this. I’m worried I’ll have a meltdown in seat 11B and the strangers to my left and right will wonder about the circumstances of who this person is, slowing dissolving next to them.
Nothing seems to make much sense right now. Nothing about this world is recognizable. The grief subsides momentarily and then shapeshifts, reappearing in another place and form. I am spinning in circles without really moving.
I think, nothing will ever be the same. You would say, well, of course. Nothing can ever be the same as it was, even a second ago. The world is in a constant state of flux, fighting descent into chaos. We impose our desired sense of order on the world but it’s arbitrary and fleeting. The only constant is movement, progression, change.
And this chaos, this arbitrariness is in your favor! I say, explain, please. You say, channel it, make it your own, define it, harness it. You’re resourceful and smart and strong. Let your body go with the motion of the fall, and it will soften the blow. If you fight it, try too hard to control the landing, you’re more prone to injury. You say, trust your own instincts.
You say, do what you need to do for yourself.