I’m ready to write, but how do I do it? How am I supposed to just jump back into the written word; be irreverent, be interesting, be entertaining, be meaningful, as if nothing has happened – as if my father’s death does not loom like a shadow. And it’s a mean shadow. It’s a shadow that leaves me alone much of the time, allowing me to hug and smile and laugh and take my daughter apple picking and share in my friend’s enjoyment over her new furniture. And then, when I’m not paying attention, it punches me in the stomach, doubling me over in pain and tears and grief. And the crafty bastard makes sure that I didn’t see it coming.
I don’t cry in the hours that I sit awake at night, or when people offer me condolences. I don’t cry when I am talking about my dad, or attending to the business that death leaves behind. I didn’t cry once in the 4 days following his death, when my house was busy with family and friends filling in the spaces and silences. But then Chris will remind me of his goofy laugh. Or Bee will open her little photo album and point and happily declare, ‘Bee and Big Guy!’ Or the new Bruce Springsteen song will come on the radio, and I will remind myself to tell my dad about his new album. And then remind myself that I can’t.
It is the natural order of things, I know this. But my dad was young. He had just turned 65. My brother is 24 and my sister is 22 and I had my dad for almost 10 years longer than they did, so how must they be feeling?
How do I write a post about the freaking most adorable things that Bee is saying lately? (Will you do me a favourite, Mummy? Look, Mummy, a helpicopter!) Or about what sex is like when you’re 33 weeks pregnant and plagued with heartburn? How do I let life back in without declaring constantly that yes, right now I’m smiling, but there is a shadow lurking, and it knows how to take me down?