I took a little break from the self-help genre but I keep finding myself wandering back to that pitiful corner of the bookstore. It’s probably because I’ve felt a little more in need of things to prop me up lately. I never imagined how much the approaching holidays could really just suck the joy right out of me. I’ve never been a fan of the holiday chaos but everything that annoyed me before Jason died is magnified tremendously. I’m constantly wearing a scowl at work and feel as though I’m being dragged through the days against my will.
It has been a little over seven months and I don’t feel any more capable of dealing with Jason’s death than I did the day it happened. I was reading about the “6-month phenomenon” last night in How to go on Living When Someone You Love Dies. Apparently it is completely common and very normal to start feeling even less in control (and a little crazier) 4-9 months after the death than in the immediate weeks following the death. I’d like to require everyone around me, including my coworkers, to read this because I think the societal expectations that grievers will be back to normal after a couple of months is just ridiculous, and it places additional pressure on people who don’t need any extra stress. And to think that it will take two years before most of us feel somewhat normal again….*sigh*
I’ve become fabulous at hiding or masking my emotions in public. Jason was one of the few people who ever saw my tears. I don’t even allow my parents many glimpses because they have no idea what to do or say…and they don’t understand that just listening without saying anything is enough. I happened to be hanging out in the self-help section of Barnes and Noble last week and Coldplay’s “The Scientist” came over the speakers. That was one of the songs I put on Jason’s funeral mix. (Yes, I made a mix for the wake because all the funeral home had available was upbeat classical jams that just didn’t sound right considering the circumstances). I cannot count how many times I’ve heard that song in public since April 13th. Now the song assaults and haunts me, making my eyes sting and my lips tremble. I put the book I was reading back on the shelf and went immediately to the restrooms where I locked myself in a stall and tried to visualize anything besides pure sadness. The restrooms are apparently wired for audio as well so my plan didn’t really work. Instead I had to listen to toilets flushing over the voice of Chris Martin. So that kind of made me laugh because it was just an absurd situation….one of many I’ve experienced since April. Fortunately the other songs on the last mix I made for Jason are obscure. I really don’t enjoy using a public toilet as a foxhole but we do what we must I suppose.
Seven months down. The rest of my life to go.