Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sometimes grief craves fried chicken and chocolate

I lost my friend last Saturday morning. 

And I had someone comment to me about our relationship, specifically my absent expression of grief, not posted for everyone to see on Facebook.

And my reply was something along the lines of .... I don't feel a need to Facebook tell everyone that I'm sad.  Because everyone who really knows me already knows that I am.  In fact I had to turn off Facebook and every other notification involving Debi.  Because it got crazy.  And I really just needed time to sit with my sadness for a while, by myself,  to decide what to do with it.  

I think grief is sometimes a giant cry that can last a few minutes -  or in some cases, a few minutes each day for a billion days.  I also think grief sometimes hides behind naps and compulsive shopping for summer clothes.  But I also know that grief sometimes just has to be quiet.  And it has to sit by itself to move from the heart to a new place where it can eventually do some good.  (I also think that sometimes grief craves fried chicken and chocolate.  And that these things are considered soul foods for a reason.) 

And I just don't feel a need to let everyone know when I last spoke to her or sat by her bedside.  I know when I had the privilege of doing those things.  And she knew.

Y'all, of course I miss my friend.  I locked my keys in the car in the pouring rain a few days ago - and standing there, she's the first person I wanted to tell.  Because something like that, so small, so everyday, so inconveniently ridiculous, was something I knew would be of value to her in the context of us.

And I wanted to tell her that I totally ruined my gorgeous wedding ring Friday night as I had the most fitful night's sleep worrying about her.  And somehow in a part sleep, part restless state, my body knew something was more wrong than it was earlier in the day.  And if I could, I'd show her how bent the ring is - so much that I can't wear it right now - and how I knocked a stone out in some sort of dramatic reaching for answers in my sleep about the why's of disease and the people it chooses to take.

My heart has ached for days.  And I know it will for a while longer.  But then one day it won't as much.  That's the good news about grief.  It moves things forward toward a better place. 

Today I want the attention to be on Debi.  Not on me.  Not on who liked who the most, or for the longest.  Like is like.  The end.

And love lives wherever two hearts meet at the point of I promise to always be your friend.

I haven't decided if I will attend her memorial coming up soon.  Number one, because I happen to be the world's biggest crier and not at all pretty doing it.  And number two, because maybe I already said my goodbyes in my own way.  I'm hoping I did it well.  

post script.... one thing that this past week has made me want, even more than cookies and an entire box of tissues to dry my eyes, is time with my kids.  Kid 3 cried the tears of a heart broken for someone he knew as a friend, a sometimes stand in mom, and a fixture in his young life.  And I can't help but think that when little eyes see tragedy like this for the first time, does it worry him that it could happen to his own mom?  I hope not and I really doubt it with the Walters boys because they're just not that deep.  

But I've made a point to sit with them, hold them closer than I have in a while, and memorize the feel of being their mom.  Kid 2 and I also won some sort of online trivia game challenge one night and we were rock stars on the internet for about 10 seconds. 

And the bottom line is this.... the real loss belongs to the 4 kids and a husband that Debi left behind to hold a family together.  It's just starting for them. 

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