I don’t really know what’s going on with me this past week. I’ve had a hard time even thinking about writing. Maybe I wore myself out with Monday’s post and just didn’t realize it. I’m sure that coming to the end of my second full week of work is at least some of the issue, and I “worked” (I use that term lightly because it is nearly impossible to sustain my attention for anywhere close to a full work day) an extra hour each day this week to make up for some time I missed on Monday when my sweet niece was in town. I feel tired. I feel like I still have so much to say, but none of it is new—it is all simply a repetition of the same themes over and over again.
I am exhausted from what I call getting my thoughts “hijacked.” This is when, out of nowhere, I am struck, either with a specific memory or just a sudden overwhelming sense of the loss we have experienced, and I just immediately get pulled right down into the thickness of the grief. When it’s a specific memory, like something that happened today, it usually only lasts only for a bit, marked by a quick crying jag. When it’s the other, like it was this past weekend, it lasts for a few hours or days, marked by a seemingly unending malaise, where I feel like I am walking around in a fog—I am functioning and talking to people, but it’s almost as if I am outside of myself. It is utterly frustrating to have so little control over my emotional state from one moment to the next. Grief’s unpredictability is probably one of its worst features. And if it seems sometimes as if I speak of grief as a whole separate being, that is, indeed, how it feels—like its own entity that is just always with me, a most unwelcome presence everywhere I go, even in my sleep.
Today, I was brought to quick tears by a sudden memory of a Facebook post I made not long before Hudson died. I said something like, “I looked down today and realized that I no longer have to lean over to hold Hudson’s hand. Yay for my poor back; boo for growing too fast.” The naivete, the unknowing, the carefree quality of those words just shook me. Even more painful than the memory of the words was the fact that I could remember the exact moment earlier that day when I had the realization. Hudson and I were walking out of the front door of St. Ann’s after school one day. I was holding her left hand in my right, always keeping her on the inside of the sidewalk. She had gotten to the point where she sometimes rebelled against holding my hand at all, so eager was she to leave me and go play in the grass. I was starting to have to be firm about holding Mommy’s hand on the sidewalk. But that day, I just noticed for the first time that she was tall enough and her arm was long enough for her hand to rest fairly comfortably in mine without a stretch on either of our parts. I had no idea how we’d gotten there so quickly.
Now, I have no idea how we’ve gotten here at all. Where is my little girl? Why can’t I hold her hand anymore? Why isn’t she still growing too fast? And it just spirals downward from there.
This is what I mean by hijacked. Now I will cry for several minutes and then go to bed.