Grief Diary: Shattering Worlds

When I found out that Dave–author, artist, blogger, and Rarasaur‘s husband–died, my heart didn’t shatter. It had already cracked the day after I found out that Male died (the first day was only haze), and it shattered a day or two after that. It took that long for the news that the love of my life died to really sink it.

My brain processed the news of his death like this droplet of water, only much, much slower:


My grief just hung out, desperately trying to break surface tension and mostly failing, creating successively smaller droplets of pain before it ultimately blended with the rest of my heartache. My heart didn’t shatter when I heard about Dave, because there was nothing left to shatter.

The human brain is so slow sometimes. It’s absolutely astounding how unhurried it is about processing certain information. Nearly four months later (it will be 4 months in 3 days), my brain still feels like it needs to remind me that he’s gone and never coming back.

Heartbreak is measured in months and days. It has been three days, three weeks, three months… we measure in time chunks to keep going. I made it 3 months, I can make it one more.

Four months later, my brain is still processing the information. So slowly.

When I heard about Dave, I thought of Rara. I thought of how she would now have to walk through the same ground that I had just covered. She had to mark three days, three weeks, three months. Her brain would remind her ‘he’s gone’ over and over, and a hole would open in her center that would try to suck her through it. She would break down crying mid-sentence, because of a smell, a song, a memory that surfaced without permission.

I hate that anyone should have to go through that. If I could take on all the grief of all the people in the world just so no one else would ever have to go through this, I would. Carrying everyone else’s grief can’t possibly be much worse than carrying just my own.

So, I wrote her a letter and said that, when she got out, we would meet in person, and we would talk and cry. It was all I could do for her.

I didn’t think that through. It meant that I’d someday have to actually meet her in person, thereby, shattering the safe, insular world that I’ve painstakingly built between me as a person and me as a blogger. I envy those of you to whom it is the same thing.

Meeting in person means your barriers are all gone. People can see your body language and hear your tone of voice. You can’t edit what you say after you say it. You can’t hide the introvert/PTSD terror on your face when a waitress leans in way too close to do a triple take at your glowing, red, demon eyes. Nothing makes a bit of sense these days, so perhaps your lot in life now is demon. Okay then.

Then you realize that your eyes are glowing red, because they’re reflecting a nearby red umbrella and you’re not a demon after all. Some small part of you is disappointed, because being a demon would at least give you a sense of purpose.

Since Male died, the people I’ve wanted to talk to the most are the people who are going through this themselves, because they understand. I have a feeling that Rara would understand regardless, but the fact that she is going through it made me feel like it might be okay.

We didn’t talk about death and grief and terrible things all the time, but when we did, we talked about it with the ease that only people mired in the same damn muck can have.