Tuesday, April 12

How Are You?

It's a simple question, requiring a short answer, an uncomplicated one, so I say I'm okay. It's not the truth, but it's not a lie, either.

I'm okay because I muddle through each day, and each day has moments of real accomplishment and true joy.

I'm not okay because I muddle through each day, and the first moment of every one is an acknowledgement that the knot that's moved in right below my diaphram has returned while I slept. The gnawing thing is always there again--the thing that makes me afraid to move, but more afraid to lie still.

I call it a thing because if I could reach in, I could touch it there. Maybe I could grab it and pull it out and throw it away. Why would I bother, though? I'm pretty sure it would be back next morning.

Grief is not as deep as I imagined it would be before I had some of my own, but it lasts longer than I imagined, and lasting longer might be worse than deep. The person who tells you grief is a process is a fool. Grief isn't the flu; it's diabetes. You simply go ahead and rebuild a life around the hole, the knot, that gnawing thing.

Sometimes it hides for a bit. Sometimes in circumstances when you think it ought to be there, it's gone. And sometimes when you are unsuspiciously pushing your shopping cart down the aisle at Superstore it jumps out to attack you.

I imagine that it never really leaves. I'm probably right. In the meantime, I've become rather good at muddling, and relishing the moments of real accomplishment and true joy.

I'm okay. Thank you for asking. I'm sorry if you wanted the short answer, the uncomplicated one.

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