I’ve re-read Jason’s obituary dozens of times. I wrote the damn thing, yet I still read it and reread, as if that will somehow make me understand that this is real. As if somehow I can make myself comprehend that this is real forever, and it will never change. Jason will never come home. He’s not just on a work trip, out with friends, at class, someplace just around the corner. He’s not just out of sight, just a text message away. He’s gone.
I can’t make sense of this situation. It can’t be real, because it makes no sense. Jason was healthy, strong, and vibrantly alive. Things were going well. We’d just bought a house and gotten a cat. We were painting and moving in and creating space that was ours. We were performing together, and Jason was performing in (or out of) costumes I was designing. We had plans, and dreams, and they all just stopped.
It doesn’t make sense. I keep groping after words and finding ones like ‘surreal’ and ‘catastrophic’ and ‘cognitive dissonance.’ Part of me knows what has happened. Part of me doesn’t understand. Part of me denies it could be true.
Somedays it is more real. Thursday it was real all day and I spent all day in tears. Today has been less real. I’ve only cried five times. In between, I met a friend for lunch and looked at amazing art. I wrote an email about donated tissues and another one about my lost wages due to injury. These aren’t emails I would have written without the accident, but they fall into the category of “things that need to be done.” So I did them.
The last few weeks have been awful. But the awful comes in waves. I wouldn’t expect to see Jason during the day, and I’ve been so tired that I haven’t missed my own routine. In the middle of the afternoon while I’m responding to emails, or chasing down a messed up bill payment, or meeting with the plumber at the new house, life seems normal. Oh, I know that something is wrong, but I know it in the same way that you know you are wearing your underwear inside out; unless you are looking at it directly, it just feels a little odd. So I’ll be in the middle of talking to the plumber, and need to explain that the names he has for the service need changing. That only my name belongs on the service ticket now. And then I’ve looked at Jason’s death directly everything slides sideways and ceases to make sense.
I can’t wrap my brain around this. I can’t comprehend that Jason is gone. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t matter how many times I read his obituary, or how many times I look at the urn, or how many times I tell myself that he isn’t coming back, it won’t stay in my head. It’s too surreal, the catastrophe was too sudden, my mind won’t allow this reality to stay with me. I want it to be unreal so badly, that maybe there isn’t room in my mind for it to be real.