The Hard Work of Grief, the Moving Forward

Grief is hard work. I’m exhausted. My pinkie toes feel broken, which means I’m at the beginning or some mid point of an RA flare. I’m eating terrible food, defiantly. Nathan made chicken and dumplings again, bless him. I miss my sister all the time, every day. Sometimes she and I would go a long time without talking. (By talking obviously I mean texting.) So it’s a little surreal, I think, to feel her absence in such a profound way. She is…not going to answer my texts. I send them, anyway. Her phone has been shut off. But I write to her, and I read every little piece of email that ever flew back and forth between us, and I miss her. I think about how she wanted to carve out a niche for herself, outside the mainstream career world and I want that, too. I took some time off. I don’t have to go back to work just yet. I’m playing with the kids. I’m taking them back and forth to school. During the day, I mostly write, and send resumé info to the internet, and listen. People are telling me their stories about death. I want to hear them. Tell me. Tell me, do you have a story about death? I’m collecting stories. 

The mosquitoes are incredible. Just overwhelmingly terrible, and my grand plans to have coffee on the deck, do yoga in the mornings, hang around on the nature trail- all derailed by bugs. It’s hard to leave the house. But I’ve done it. We forced the kids to go to the movies. We shopped for groceries. I drove to Key West and back. I traveled with my sister’s ashes, in a shiny silver bag. I came home and tried on her impossibly high wedge heels. I almost wore her purple wig to drop the kids off at school today. I didn’t want to brush my hair.

Tomorrow I’m going to meet a stranger for coffee. I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but I’m not sure how, yet. And I’m not sure about privacy, yet. But if I do this thing, it would be the beginning of something remarkable. “your ad really spoke to me”, she said. And I said “tell me your story. Let’s meet.” and that was probably the most frightening thing I’ve said in a long time. “let’s meet.”
Remember? I said I wanted to do something different. Scary.
So after coffee I’ll take my borrowed Nikon and I’ll walk through Riverside and take some photos, and maybe I’ll come here and share some of them with you all. 

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