Monday, March 2, 2009

some observations on grief

1. It is just like it is on TV.
In Season 2 of the West Wing, President Bartlet's personal secretary, Mrs. Landingham, dies after getting hit by a drunk driver. In the season finale episode, "Two Cathedrals", President Bartlet's memory flashes back to particular moments in his life with her at random points during the day. The particular interactions, things remembered, things said, interrupt you without warning. It is just like that.

2. So much seems so trivial.
When something of actual consequence happens, you realize that everything else is so trivial. I log onto Facebook due to habit, and looking at status updates I'm completely unmoved. I've had the book, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, for probably a decade now. For several weeks it has been sitting in my bathroom. The book talks about how not to get angry when you're in the car and another driver cuts you off. Unless someone is being born or dying, emotions seem wasted now.

3. I find that I have to constantly do something. It doesn't matter whether it's washing dishes, cleaning up, surfing the web, or (most beneficially) working. I have to keep myself busy because if I stop for a minute and let myself think, the memories, the questions, and the pain creep into my consciousness. More generally, I can only describe my state as a complete lack of understanding. And I can't hold back my tears.