brainholes

I think I’m handling things as well as can be expected, but probably not as well as I publicly let on.   Fake it til you make it, right?  Sometimes I let myself forget… and then sometimes I forget to forget.  That’s when people ask me things like “What’s wrong?” and remind me that  I need to “Stay positive!”  It’s very important for the people around me to know I’m getting “better”, and surely I am… so as much as I can,  I show my “better” face.   This is a lot of work,  but I imagine it’s also a lot of work for others to deal with my grief all the time, so I try not to crack til I get time alone.  I haven’t had much of that yet… and unfortunately a crucial part of the whole “closure” process has been drawn out for a cruel amount of time….

Did you know that it can take up to 3 weeks for the paperwork to be filed so a cremation can even take place?  No– I hope you never need to know that directly,  because every part of it sucks evil ass.  My brain and heart are exhausted and confused by the whole ordeal,  and that tired confusion actually facilitates periods of  peace.   Well, not necessarily peace as much as low-grade alzheimer’s.   It seems that when you can’t figure something out, eventually you just stop thinking about it and that part of your brain shuts off completely.    This leaves big gaps in my reality,  so I space out a lot.   I call them brainholes, and they are pretty easy to fall into.  Sometimes brainholes can be dark and scary,  but mostly they are just safe, cozy voids.  I stare off into nothing and try to remember what exactly the took place in the last 3 weeks or even 6 months of my life.  I’ve noticed that sometimes I don’t recognize things like streets I drive down every other day.   People talk to me and I just smile, nod and chuckle, hoping that works okay as a response to whatever they just said.  I used to do that when I was bartending and I couldn’t hear what people were saying to me over the loud music.  Now I do it whenever people ask questions that seem too complicated to answer,  like “How are you?”

This morning we went to pick up the ashes.  It’s a fucked up and bizarre way to spend your morning, and I was still groggy from a night of fucked up and confusing dreams,  so I didn’t have the energy or clarity to fall apart like I expected myself to.  The director of the funeral home placed a dark blue velvet bag in front of us on the table next to some more paperwork to sign, and all I felt was blank…with maybe a side of irritation.  The lights in that place were obnoxiously fluorescent in a way that always puts me in a funky mood, so I decided that was why I was angry.  Stupid fucking lights.   I stayed mad about the lighting in that stupid funeral home… and the woman who greeted us had hair that kind of pissed me off too.  While we waited for her to return to our waiting room with a tiny bag of ashes,   I noticed that next to me on the wall there was a photograph of the three owners who the place was named after… I hated that stupid fucking photo so so so very much.   But when we were causally presented with the little blue bag,  all I felt was blank.  Floating safely in and out of my brainholes,  I felt no attachment to that blue velvet bag.   I didn’t feel my heart break all over again as I cradled it delicately in my lap on the car ride home.  It may have happened, but I didn’t feel it.  I even didn’t notice right away that I was reflexively caressing it gently and rocking slightly, as I glared hatefully at  the rain through the car window.  Stupid fucking rain.  Wait, what street is this?  I’ve never seen this street before….

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. apolywog
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 22:53:59

    I have found, on my own journey of loss, that the more I repress the sadness
    and try to look like I’m fine and that everything is okay, the more pain and sadness
    I feel. Please be easy on yourself and know that you have just gone through a great loss and it is natural to grieve. I have found that only by feeling my gut-wrenching grief, can I move through it. Much love to you.

    Reply

  2. m.g.
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 23:04:13

    Oh, trust me, I let myself feel it. I really don’t have a choice in the matter. It’s just that at some point I have to be out in the world doing things like working a retail job…and I can’t exactly collapse into a screaming fit every time someone walks in with a big pregnant belly… I save that til i get home. So that’s when I “fake it”…
    Well, that, and it was Husband’s birthday this past weekend and i figured he needed a break from the hysteria — so i may have “faked it” a bit then too… but you’re right– it comes back *with a vengeance* when you suppress it.

    Reply

  3. Alissa (MissC)
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 13:30:28

    I just wanted to stop on over and offer my heartfelt condolences and sympathies. I too lost children this past year and it has been quite a hellish journey so far to get through it. I was trying for a baby for 2 years when we finally decided on IVF. Our precious boy/girl twins were born too early at 20 weeks in October. It’s been the worst 3 months of my life and I wanted you to know that as alone as you feel (and I feel everyday) there are other unfortunate souls out there that are also feeling that horrible emptiness.
    I get all the same worried looks like I should be past it by now and people telling me to seek out a therapist. I have the anger toward god (if he’s even there) and am still having to deal with the reprocussions of delivery. The milk dropping was horrid and now I am scheduled for surgery to remove what they assume is left over hardened placenta. It’s all a slap in the face.
    We just have to keep on keepin’ on and find peace where we can. I’ve been told there is no right way to grieve or a specific time frame, so I am doing it all in my own way in my own time. Everyone else can screw off.
    I’m here for you and hope to be able to find comfort in our shared experience (although slightly different).
    Thinking of you and your son.
    Alissa (MissConception)

    Reply

  4. mrs. brightside
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 21:03:57

    “Brain holes” is such a perfect description for it. I’ve had so many huge chunks of time where my brain just doesn’t function, yet I’ve gone through the motions of my life. (Sorry, work.)

    I hate that my grief affects others. Of course it pains my loved ones to see me in pain, which makes them want me hurry up and feel better, so that they can feel better too. You have to take care of yourself too, but I totally get the faking it, whether it’s just to get through the day or to be kind to your husband. But it’s hard and draining.

    Reply

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