running

by lani

this post is brought to you by an introvert who is currently more concerned with being very honest for the sake of other grieving parents than protecting her little introvert shell, but who will most certainly regret it in the morning.

i’ve been trying to write all week, but the words haven’t come. i can only write well when i’m being honest, and not when i’m attempting to say profound, spiritual, grief-y things while my thoughts are mostly consumed with midterms.

it takes a long time to realize that. i sit at my computer … why can’t i write. i go over my list of ideas and begin one, then another. all rubbish. all lacking. all dishonest.

running away. that’s what i’m doing. i’m running away. you see, i’m pretty terrified of my grief this week. i wasn’t last week; last week i embraced it and accepted it and shared it and felt whole in it … this week, i’m running so hard from it that i’m breathless and exhausted and wide-eyed and heaving. i can’t blog, i can’t write, i can’t reflect or be alone with myself … i can only avoid and study the greeks. (see aforementioned midterms.) and sometimes even the greeks hit a little too close … all that darn philosophy and oedipus and stuff. darn oedipus.

i shut my mind down … and feel guilty for shutting him out, but i can’t face it. i can’t gaze on the terrifying face of a little baby, my little baby. i can’t know what will happen if i do … the grief stalks, hiding behind trees and jumping out at highly inopportune moments, and i raise my mask, my shield so fast that i can’t get a good look at it….

the power of a parent’s grief is formidable. people have gone crazy from less.

i have no idea what it wants, what it looks like. i really don’t even know why i’m so afraid. the “sorry-your-baby-died-here’s-how-to-get-over-it-except-you-won’t-really” books say to welcome your grief. they say don’t avoid it, don’t put it off, don’t stuff it cause then you’ll get stomachaches and neurotic.

the grief only wants to help, right? it wants to come to me and make me whole, entering and weaving together the tangled and confused and hurting parts, molding art from pain clay.

but not this week. i’m afraid to hurt, i’m afraid to be caught, pinned down like a butterfly. i’m afraid to have my little jar of pain clay exposed, even only to my own grief. i’m just too … little. too little to integrate these hurting parts and collapse under the weight of them. i’d rather pretend they’re not there. (and, coincidentally, have panic attacks. darn sneaky grief.)

but as long as i’m not acknowledging its existence, like my own shadow, i’m going to keep dashing away terrified every time the sun peeks out. every time the sun appears in the sky, my sky.

maybe God is somewhere in that scary grief too, i don’t know. probably. it seems like the type of place God would hang out, a place so humble. but oh no, when it finally catches me i know it will hurt, and every moment will taste of salt, from tears or blood or imagination i will not know and i will not care.

and the pragmatist hopes it will catch me soon so i have something else to write about.

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