Grief has made a mute of me. I have not been able to talk. I have not been able to be who I am right now, or rather, to share who I am with the world. I hide behind a face I do not recognize.
Sometimes it feels like I have been shattered into bits. They rub against one another, shard to shard. The scratching and further chipping of the pieces causes sharp pains, makes terrible noises. There is dust accumulating on the floor and tabletops from the friction. Dust of me. Dust created from where once I was whole.
And then I am a stone. I have sunk to the bottom of the lake. I blink. No one sees me. No one ever will but the fish, other tenants of this murky water polluted with stagnant grief.
I’m having trouble moving forward.
I’m having trouble wanting to move forward.
I’m lost in the woods. Around me are the violent pops of boughs breaking. The grotesque lullaby rings in my ears. Rockabye baby…on the treetop…when the wind blows…
When I was a child I fantasized about coming upon rooms forgotten by decades of family life. Old nurseries draped in covers. The odd shapes of things obscured beneath dusty linens. There is the rocking horse. There the dollhouse. It seems like it would be treasure to find something like this. Now I have it in my own house. Her room, a monument to our loss, a place so difficult to enter I hold my breath as I pass by the black door. There is no treasure in that room. The treasure is what was lost.
I keep getting sick.
I keep taking antibiotics.
I haven’t had this many courses of antibiotics since I was a strep-prone child.
Nothing is curing me. I cannot be helped. I went to the doctor again and they told me to rest. Her eyes were sad as they looked at me. Her eyes said everything I already know. I’m sick because my daughter died. I’m too sad to be well.
How am I going to clean out your things?
I am in so much pain I think about driving myself into a tree. Just so I can see her again. Just so I can hold her.
I am in so much pain I fantasize about walking into the ocean and letting myself be swept out to see. So I can talk to her. So I can feel free of the loss.
I am in so much pain it keeps me anchored to my life. There is no escape. I cannot cut myself free from this. I am on a course and must follow it through. I am committed to being alive. I made a promise.
Can therapy help?
Can moving to New York?
Can nights out?
Is there any help? Is this possible?
Or can only you assemble your pieces, learn to breathe underwater, fashion new homes out of forest boughs? Certainly only you can discover the depths of the pain, the grief, the loss. And only you can make it into your life. Break it with your hands in a battle of molding.
What will I create?