Saturday, December 13, 2014

A knocking

woke me at seven: several quick raps on my bedroom door or perhaps on the window. I was asleep, so I wasn't exactly analyzing the sound, though my instinct was to call out something in response.

Yesterday I made a list of tasks and loaded them to my Google calendar, with reminders set to go off through the day. This because I'd spent probably five hours on Thursday sitting and staring blankly. So I tried a regimented approach: Go to the gym. Make some breakfast. Call the funeral home. Check, check, check. Take a shower. Decide which of his shirts to send to Mom. Finish all the dishes. Boil water, make tea. Fold and stow the reiki table. Pick up Randy's urn. Buy thank you cards. Make grocery list. Pay p.o. box rental. Water plants. Bake a cake for lunch tomorrow at D & B's. Finish typesetting Doug's chapbook. Answer Jan's email.

Somewhere between dishes and urn, it all started to get away from me. Still, I told myself I was doing fine, managing well, moving forward through the day with purpose. Hadn't cried. Stopped at the foot of the stairs and said, firmly, I love you. I forgive you. I have to keep going.

The cards cut through this stoic front and unlocked whatever mechanism I'd set against tears: a sweet, direct note from our friends down the block; a thank you from the delivery driver I'd forgotten to tip the other day (so I walked to Stein's and left him some cash in an envelope); a poignant note from an old friend and colleague at Bucknell. I wept, I shuddered, I let it out.

And then I went back to my list.

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