Sunday, March 24, 2013

Everything is Harder

Everything is harder.

I know I recently wrote that everything is easier--but it's not. It's harder.

Walking up the stairs in my house, from the first floor to the second floor is harder. Aidan's bedroom door, plastered with goofy drawings, stickers, a photo of Buddy Holly, and Einsteinian wisdom ("Imagination is better than knowledge") faces the top of the stairs. I walk up those stairs at least five times a day. I stop in front of his door, a canvas of accumulated tokens of his eclectic interests. If he were here, I would be starting to nudge him to remove them and start over with a blank slate. Now, I think they might stay there forever.

I walk past his room and look in, still expecting, hoping, to see him kneeling next to his bed, the laptop open in front of him, his papers spread out on the blue camouflage comforter. But instead, his room is empty and neat. The bed's made. Most of his stuffed animals remain in his room, except his two favorites: Manny the manatee who lives with me, and Dot, a big floppy stuffed dog, who lives with M. Peevie.

It's harder to concentrate on anything but grief. It's harder to focus, harder to read, harder to motivate myself to do anything meaningful or productive.

It's harder to be compassionate and kind; it's harder to forgive. Why is this? I think when we do these things--when we show compassion or kindness, or forgive someone who has wronged us, we pay an emotional price. I don't have much of a balance in my emotional account, and I'm often overdrawn. The people who see this most often are the people who most need my kindness and compassion: the other Peevies. There are others who are sad and suffering, too--but I have very little to offer them.

It's harder to go to sleep at night. When I lie down to sleep, the images come. I run through That Day in my mind, with the feckless hope that if I do something different, or if the paramedics arrive sooner, or if the ER docs try a new technique, the outcome will be different. Or my mind goes to the ER waiting room, where we gathered to begin to process the idea that Aidan would not be coming home with us. He is behind that door over there, still and silent. I couldn't bring myself to go in. Maybe if I had gone in, he'd be OK.

It's harder to wake up in the morning. I'm exhausted. Grief is physically, mentally, emotionally exhausting. I didn't sleep well. I don't care about anything anymore, so why bother. I think I should be in a better place by now--it's more than four months. But frankly, I don't want to be in a better place, ever. I don't ever want to feel better about losing Aidan. I'm conflicted and confused.

It's harder to think, and to write. It's harder to be organized and coherent. It's harder to find the right words, because there are no right words.

Everything is harder.