To write this is torture, but I can only hope it may bring some small amount of relief. Not that I could sleep, anyway. The ‘sleeping’ chairs, they’re about as comfortable as a mattress made of cardboard.
The force of the past weeks is enough to fell me. Everything, nothing. Everything, then nothing. The anticipation. The exhilaration. There was never anxiety or regret when it came to him, to us. We had only everything and we held it tightly, knowing how it would fly. And it did. The finest, most utterly defining and indefinite moments; the ones that sustain you, that lift and fulfill you. They flew, and then, with so little time for absorption or introspection, this inexplicably harsh transition, a sudden tumble, the fall. The lump in the throat, the loss of control. Disbelief, panic, shock. What ended, what began?
Life is happening at a rate and rhythm I can’t keep up with or comprehend. I have so little sense of place, of belonging. I am here, but I was here before for some entirely different reason that now seems bizarrely distant; and then I was there, and now I’m back; and he is there (which is just shitty, because I need him), and they are here. And she is here. And none of us are home.
How the entirety of one’s life concept disintegrates at the foot of one miniscule organic malfunction.
How the role of caregiver is passed and received, adopted and relinquished, because it must be, because there is no other way. Because the one who always filled that role so rightly and competently and completely is suddenly the one who needs care, and we all begin to struggle, out of necessity, in our little inadequate ways, to fill those shoes, to assume that part, to begin to attempt to repay what we suddenly realize is a lifetime of debt. It came so naturally to her. She is so good at it; she relished it and perhaps at times despised it; but it’s who she is.
Swallow, think. Stop thinking. Breathe. This sterile room full of light, sound, and doubt. And to think, two weeks following a house overflowing with light, sound, and joy. How to comprehend such contrasts? How could this possibly have happened? What do we do now? Who will take care of us?