November 26, 2013
Ten months ago today, Gery had his seizure. Nine months ago on Thursday, he died. Thursday is Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. It means so much to me because (long story short) my mother and two of my brothers (she was pregnant with the youngest) and I ran away from my father in Georgia and arrived in Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving Day. We were met by my favorite aunt and came to live with my grandmother. I had no idea then how very dangerous our lives had become or how dangerous the running away was, but I did understand three days on a bus, followed by baths and clean clothes and a lot of food.
It mattered to me to have my family together on Thanksgiving. Gery and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the past 8 years. This year, we're not. Obviously. One of my brothers can't come. Two of them will be there. "There," though, is not my house. We're going to my inlaws' for dinner.
This is no longer my favorite holiday. I don't know that I have a favorite anything anymore. Everywhere I go, I feel like I'm on the outside. I'm an extra. An odd number at the table. I drive myself and I leave alone. Nobody holds my hand, except Sarah, and even that is fading because she is a very big girl.
I don't want to be a burden. I don't want to be an outsider or an odd number. I'd rather skip it all. I'm not handling this well and I am irritating even myself because I can't snap out of it. I can't fix it. I feel like I'm whining constantly. Who wants to hear how sad and lonely I am when they're in love? Pregnant? Shiny new baby? Happy family of four on a beautiful snow covered Christmas card? I'm none of those things and I'm bitter.
The things I wanted and dreamed about and planned will never happen. I'm grieving the loss of my own life as much as I'm grieving the loss of Gery's. People tell me they think I'm strong, that I've handled this with grace. Maybe I have. Maybe the reality is that I haven't handled anything and here I am facing what I've ignored, which is that I am alone. It is extremely tempting to isolate myself further because I cannot believe that anyone would want to be around me right now.
I wish I could end this on some happy note, saying that I've realized something profound. I haven't. I'm depressed and sad and lonely and I'm struggling just to get up every morning. To provide any kind of life for Sarah. To connect to my family and friends when I want to close everyone out. I have hope that one day, if I keep trying, that I will feel like I'm in sync with this world again.