8-7 Grief and Gratitude

One-hundred days ago, Jason died.  Even before the doctors came in to tell me he was dead, I knew.  I knew because they took my mother out of the room, I knew because of the whispering in the hall.  Honestly, I knew before any of that.  I knew in some flicker of consciousness between the CT machine and whatever came next, I knew when I asked over and over where he was.  I knew, but I refused to admit it to myself.  Most of the time, I still can’t comprehend the enormity of Jason’s death.  I’m not sure I’ve fully admitted it to myself yet.

I’ve gone a day or two or even three without crying.  At least, without deteriorating into the kind of crying that precludes all other activity.  It turns out, I can cry while driving.  And doing the dishes.  And showering.  And falling asleep.  I can even cry while using a drill.  It isn’t major crying, like the kind that makes your throat close and your nose clog.  It’s more like leaking from the eyes.  I leak almost every day.  I think I’ve cried enough saltwater to fill a pond.

Several people have asked me how I can have any faith left in humanity.  Jason was killed in a completely preventable accident because a garbage human made shitty decisions.  But that’s one person, or maybe six if you count all the people in the cars involved in the accident.  Compare six people to the four-hundred who showed up to Jason’s wake.  Or to the dozens who showed up to the other two memorials.  Compare six people to the thirty who brought me and my family food for the month of May.  Compare six people to the six-hundred who donated to the YouCaring so that I have time to sort out my life.

I haven’t lost faith in humanity; I’ve gained it.

It is hard to contain a multitude of emotions. It is exhausting to bounce between grief and love and gratitude in the time it takes me to exhale.

I’m frequently torn between gratitude for the amazing community that has insulated me for the past three months, and a kind of grief that doesn’t let me see past the cyclone inside me.  I miss Jason in a way that makes breathing burn and makes my skin ache.  And I am so very grateful to the people who continue to show up for me in whatever way each of you can.  Thank you for being here, thank you for staying with me.

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