on grief and starting

Starting hurts. I let the shower run until it’s scalding so that it hurts when I get in, the worst part. After the burn, being in my skin is cozy: red, raw, white hot. Pliable. When it’s hot enough, I forget enough of my reality to remember that I could be something else. Something soft. I drag my nails on it. Hard.

On the days that I don’t remember to shower first thing in the morning, or the 12:03 PM, or whenever waking up happens, starting doesn’t hurt. So it’s harder. If I give myself time to lay around before moving my body, my brain moves first. Starting becomes optional; why even try, when did it get hard? It all started in June, I guess, when you died. It hasn’t stopped starting, that part that hurts. I feel like I start over constantly and I am so tired of starting. I wish my brain would stop.

Starting to move on hurts. This is one of those times, when my brain is starting and my body is stopped and I think: I’m letting go of grief, I guess. Or I’m just starting to address grief for what it is, a lifelong companion. Not so bad.

Then I start.

I start to wonder about whether or not I’m making this worse on purpose: am I scared to start grieving at all? Did I learn to love it yet? Do I love to be sad, or do I miss you? Do I obsess over death because you’re dead or because I am scared to die? Is this all a part of life or is this all fucked, is this not normal, will I ever have to experience it again?

“Everyone is going to die but not everyone is going to decide to die.” Someone said that after my friend’s mom decided to die, stop suffering. I try to think that you decided to stop suffering. I try to make that be peaceful. I try to start to think of myself as someone who doesn’t want to suffer. I wonder if I am starting wrong.

Every word I type about myself feels selfish, gross. Every word I type about you feels disgusting, small. Unworthy. Starting to write about you hurts. Starting to write is stumbling.

Hurting is easy. Starting is easy. It’s the part in-between the thought of starting and the start, it’s this part that I can fill with a thousand, twenty thousand, zero words and still feel nothing about. People die every day, yeah. People start all the time, I think. I wonder when anything stops.

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