Grief counseling began Monday. It went exactly as I’d expected, talking about Jack for an hour with someone who didn’t know the story. I think she got it. I felt understood. But I was also drained afterward, after talking for sixty minutes about the very things I’ve spent months trying to suppress. Maybe it’s the beginning of another process, or the continuation of the same. The recurring theme, though, the one thing I kept saying: I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. Am I supposed to cry/not cry? Go out/not go out? Keep on as though everything is normal? Fall apart because things are anything but? Start dating/stop thinking about dating? There are no answers for these questions, nor for the thousand others. Except: “Time will tell.”
My birthday is tomorrow. I can tell you right now that I won’t get any presents, and I probably won’t even get any cards. I am trying very hard to be grateful for the things I do have — believe me, I’d be a lot worse off if I didn’t practice gratitude regularly — but I think everyone wants to matter to someone other than blood relatives. I’m reminded of the movie “I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With,” though I don’t particularly know why.
One thing I’m scared of is always being the woman who lost the man she loved in a terrible and tragic way. I don’t want to be permanently scarred. But I also don’t know how people who have lost someone like I lost Jack can possibly have the courage to love again. I don’t know why anyone would willingly put something like that on the line, again, knowing not only the risk but the inevitability of death. After that kind of pain, it seems impossible. It seems less impossible today than it did six months ago, but impossible nonetheless.