Wednesday, February 02, 2005

And then I wake up

Most of the time I convince myself all is well, all is normal. I do what I'm supposed to do. I eat, when I remember, I try to study, I tidied my flat yesterday, the housekeeper came today, my flat is all clean and nice-smelling and gorgeous and I did experience a profound sense of well-being today till I put the cream on. It seems like the tiniest things awaken the demons, and I am unfailingly surprised. The equivalent of trying to prevent an eruption by saying "Good boy, goood boy." I live my life, the one before me, and yet have this huge technicolour screen behind my brain, where Uzi figures permanently. I have flashbacks, I hear him say things he used to say, I see his smiles, his gestures, his quirks, I can almost touch him sometimes. It runs nonstop. The astonishing bit is, I find it normal. I sometimes open my mouth to say something and "Tig" slips out, and I cover it with some other word. I actually managed to convince myself this status quo could remain forever. Him missing, NOT DEAD, just missing, and me in Lalaland. I truly did. [Mind you, he's still alive. Somehow, somewhere. Lalaland, as I said.] My friend Tom rang me today. He's known me for almost 16 years, he knows all my stories, he calls me Erdnuss (Peanut) for a reason I'll explain one day. We hadn't talked for ages (he lives in Germany) and I had to tell him. I told him. It was hideous. It's different to tell someone who actually heard his stories as they were happening. He was a sweetie, he always is. And Tess-in-Hong-Kong sent me three beautiful emails in rapid succession in the past few days. These days, even a little kindness may undo me. And it's ultimately the thing that saves me. I know I'm out of my mind thinking I may skip the bulk of the pain. But my mind doesn't seem like a good place to be in right now. As I said, the demons are light sleepers and if it's not one thing it's another. The demons may soon turn into insomniacs. I too fear I will drown.



At 2/2/05 06:25, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I've sent you this before, from the Society for Humanistic Judaism's Ruach readings, but here it is again. It's all in there... most of all gratitude for these subtle gifts we're given, people and fleeting beauty and the intensity of connection we're once in a while lucky enough to find. And remembering that what is seemingly lost isn't, not really, not as long as we recall it.

Praise the world—
praise its fullness
and its longing,
its beauty and its grief.
Praise stone and fire,
lilac and river,
and the solitary bird
at the window.

Praise the moment
when the whole
bursts through pain,
and the moment
when the whole
bursts forth in joy.

Praise the dying beauty
with all your breath
and, praising, see
the beauty of the world
is our own.


And here are my unsolicited thoughts on grief, for what it's worth. For me grief has always been unpredictable, ebbing and then rushing back when I least expect it. You're not out of your mind for thinking that you may skip most of the pain. But from over here it looks like you're already in that pain, all the time, deep in it, awash in it. Part of grief is this illusion of normalcy, memories lurking at the corners and then popping fully into your field of vision when you think you're thinking about something else entirely. Please be gentle and patient with yourself -- and with your grief. I don't know whether it's better to welcome the visitations (because what are memories if not that?) or try to send them away. But in my experience sometimes they don't give you a choice, they insist on being seen and felt, and then all you can do is accept them as a gift, another moment of connection with a person (and a time and place) that you have truly loved.

At 2/2/05 10:04, Blogger Ana said...

I wish there was something I could say but I'm not sure what. So I just want you to know I'm here. Beijos

At 2/2/05 10:36, Blogger brooksba said...


I know it's hard. Grief is one of those things that always lurks in the background. Time helps, but it does not ever get rid of the grief. And maybe it shouldn't. I know it is hard to deal with Uzi being missing. I can understand how, without confirmation, he is missing, not dead.

Grief will surprise you. I know there are things from my life that will suddenly come to the surface and hit me hard. Do not worry that it hurts.

I had a situation once where I spoke to a licensed therapist for something. It was dealing with an extreme situation and trying to find how to deal with it. The advice I was given was to talk about it, to share it, to write about it. I found the less I avoided dealing with it, the easier it became to understand it. I don't know about understanding the loss of Uzi, but talking about it here is something that will help you.

If you feel the need to cry, do it. I wish I was there to hug you while you need a hug. Remember there are many who care about you and we all want to help you in any way.

Sending you much love,


At 2/2/05 11:40, Blogger Dale said...

Yes, I know exactly what this is like.


At 2/2/05 11:56, Blogger ontheface said...

You will feel like this for awhile. Maybe a long while. And sometimes that pain seems impossible to bear. I know that, just as I know that telling you it will pass someday will not make you feel better now.

So I'll just send you a huge hug of sympathy.

At 2/2/05 16:55, Blogger annebrev said...

Lioness... I'm sorry. I don't know what to say. I know you do not know me well, but I want you to know you've brought humor and beauty to my life, and you've extended a hand of support to me, a stranger, when I've needed it. For these things I thank you, and I wish you love and peace. You will have to get through the grief... and you do have the strength for it. Remember how much you are loved by so many.

I'm just so sorry.
take care of yourself,

At 2/2/05 21:28, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Ok, we'll wait for the Peanut story.

At 2/2/05 22:31, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a beautifully written post; the reason i cannot rejoice in such insightful phrases is the tangible pain, pulling and despair behind them. the link between your emotions affecting your actions and the fear of loss....and you are appreciating your life and memories...thank you..

At 3/2/05 02:44, Blogger twisteddragonfly said...

Lioness, Just a couple of thoughts.
First, thanks for your post last night. I have to admit, I was in a bit of a mood. In my defense however, I am a product of my environment!! HA!!
Second, and most importanly: There will be days when you feel like your skin doesn't fit and someone took a cheese grater to whats left of it. There will be days when you feel like you are unable to breathe from all the grief you are suffering. I know. God, how I do know. But remember, your experiences in life are what have made you the strong, independent person that I can see in your writing. Embrace it, for it is all you will ever truly own. Here's me sending you a hug!!

At 3/2/05 07:10, Blogger Savtadotty said...

True colors showing, I want to feed you comfort food.


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