at first

At first, it seems as if it really is the end of the world. He’s just laying there, and you know he will never get up again. You know you won’t hear his laugh, or see him on the caller ID. Those are the things that really get you. The plans that you had made with him. The things you had worked on together. Now gone. Over. And you have to leave, and leave him there. And thats just not right. You were supposed to leave together. But you leave without him… You have to, because it’s what is done.

And you go home, and there are people there… They wouldn’t let you be alone, not at a time like this that just isn’t done… So you go home and there are people there but he’s not there, and it just doesn’t feel right. It feels alien and cold and everywhere you look there he is, because that’s where he has always been, but you know that the chapter is closed game over and he won’t ever sit in that chair again or ask you where the remote is again or even pet the fucking dog again.

And you want to scream and throw things and hit things and you want to see him again and ask him why and tell him it’s not fair, not again. And you want to see the Almighty God and kick his ass and ask him where you screwed up so damn bad, and how can he single you out for this much loss in one lifetime and maybe you should be a fucking Hindu because maybe their God isn’t such a callus son of a bitch.

You finally get to sleep the sleep of the zombie, and you wake up 1,000 years before you want to, and you’re already worried about how the hell you’re supposed to even APPEAR to pick up the pieces, and how you’re supposed to make the car payment, and the rent, and the phone bill, let alone pay for a funeral. And what kind of a person are you if you can’t even pay for a decent funeral for the man? All this in about 30 seconds since you woke up, and in 30 seconds, you’ve already made it full circle, and your trying to figure out where the hell you went so goddamn wrong that you could be punished with this kind of loss… again.

Little by little, the minutes get easier. Not all of them, no, never ALL the minutes. But more of them are better today than yesterday. And with any luck (yeah, that bastard luck), there will be more good minutes tomorrow than there were today, and that’s how it works. Baby steps. It’s a long fucking walk out of this pit of misery, but the path is worn, and familiar. You’ve walked it before, and you’ll walk it this time, and not because you want to, but because you have to, because you’re a mother and a grandmother, you will lead your family up that path together.

And this is just my opinion, and what the hell do I know, but I don’t think you were chosen to suffer. I don’t think you have been tried for some past sins, or the follies of a former life. I think… No, i know, that all these amazing people that you’ve lost came in to your life for a reason. Not any sanctimonious “meant to be” or “it was their time” crap either. Your amazing talent and gift is that you are a guide. If there is a god up there, he’s not sending people to you to take them away. He’s sending the most needy and deserving to you, not for you, but for them. When i read the “footprints” story about how god “carries” people, all i can think of is you, carrying the broken, needy, and deserving souls through the toughest trials and tribulations that life can bring.

Not much comfort, I know. But I wanted you to know how I see things, how I see you. You have carried me across more beaches than god could count. Just as you did for Clyde, and Gene, and who knows many others over the years. There is more carrying to do I’m afraid. But know always that your family loves you, and we will help shoulder the burden. Of course we will. You’ve taught us very well…

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