***WELCOME to a particularly long edition of “TMI Friday” (Too Much Information Friday). This is a weekly feature on Blogfully Yours where I hover the line of “over-sharing”. It’s like therapy, without the expense.***
Everyone deals with grief in different ways. Zach’s passing was the first real opportunity for me to find out mine. I’ve had relatives pass away, but aunts and grandparents are rarely as close as friends.
I will always remember every detail of loosing Zach. It’s a video montage burned in my brain that I can’t stop watching. It starts with a phone call, every word of which I could recite. Followed by tears, hysterical balling, running in a race that I remember starting and finishing, but the middle is still a blank. How I got my legs to move, how I kept it together, I honestly don’t know. I only remember thinking about finding every picture I have of Zach and asking ED to keep talking so I could maintain my composure.
When I crossed the finish line my eyes immediately filled with the tears I was pushing down, but I could not let them break free the way I wanted to. I had to say goodbye to clients and friends at the race (I do the PR for the event) then I went directly over to my sisters. I called several times and when she finally heard her phone all I could get out through my tears was, “Can I come over? Zach, he’s dead.”
When she answered the door she was wearing a fuzzy pink robe. I immediately lost myself in it. Crying harder than I ever knew I could. Sobbing to where I couldn’t catch my breath. She lead me to the couch where I collapsed on to her pink fuzzy robe and sobbed even harder.
I don’t know how long we sat like that. Days? Hours? Minutes? I had no concept of time. My friend was gone and the only thing that mattered was crying.
My sister canceled her day and told me she was my shadow; there to do whatever I needed her to do. We went to my parents house, unearthing boxes of memories from the past 15 years. I found every picture I wanted to find, but none that I did not expect to find.
That night the shadowing duty was passed on to Karina the Russian.
We blared music that Zach and I had listened to together while searching for more pictures on my computer. She got me sufficiently drunk. I passed out and sleep through the night.
I woke early the next morning (Sunday), sat up in bed and cried. It was the hardest day for me. Looking back now I can say, it was harder than the viewing, harder than the funeral. It was me alone with my grief. Every movement was painstakingly hard. I made coffee. I sat on the couch drinking my coffee and staring out the windows. Right as I had finally talked myself into taking a shower and actually moving off the couch, I got a phone call where the well intentioned party encouraged me to “keep moving”.
I knew they meant well, I knew they were probably right, but I was enraged at the words “keep moving” and ended up on the bathroom floor, sitting naked holding my legs tight to me, crying so hard I was actually dry heaving. I just let the shower water run while I wailed.
When I finally got out of the shower I tried to work on homework. I wrote two pathetic excuses of essays. I wandered around my house aimlessly. As I walked through the family room I saw a large patch of sunlight on the carpet. I laid in it, looking up at my cat laying on the couch looking at me. I stared at the fibers in the carpet. Again I had no concept of time, but I laid there until the sunlight started to shift and no longer covered me.
I couldn’t bring myself to “keep moving” doing things I knew I needed to do, so I decided to rake leaves. As I began to rake, I could picture Zach walking around the corner to where I was. He had a big goofy grin and said, “Summer, don’t be all upset. I’m fine. I don’t want you to be sad.” I raked harder, trying to see what I was doing through the tears, until I finally gave up and let grief take over me again.
The leaves are still sitting in piles in the back yard.
I don’t know when exactly things start to get easier. I know that no day will ever be as hard as that Sunday; at least not when it comes to grieving the loss of my friend Zach.That Sunday I finally understood cutters. I finally understood wanting to feel physical pain over emotional pain. I never understood it before.
To be honest, I am doing OK. Sure, I yelled AT MY TEACHER when he compared Zach’s death to his cat being sick and yes, I did overreact and scream at ED because he dared not to call me while studying for a chemistry exam. Yes, I have been crying more often, drinking more often and getting out of bed was very difficult for a while…
But… I’m doing OK.
Each day gets a little easier. For example, I had a memory of Zach tonight that I had forgotten. It came out of nowhere. Instead of crying, I actually smiled and laughed. I poured a glass of wine and cheers’d Zach for being a part of my life! I was grateful the memory came to me and that I now get to keep it in my memory folder.
It’s a small step, but a step none the less.
NOT light and fluffy, TMI Friday