Grief, that capricious phenomena that accompanies loss can be maddening. Interestingly the lonliness that is expected in the wee hours of the night evade me. I sleep soundly. I wake to a day of anticipated activity. Some mornings I need to coax myself more than others to get out of bed. When the sleeping bag seems velcroed to my pajamas  I ask myself “Why am I feeling badly?” My answer is always the same, because I’m like a fish in a bowl, swirling around with nowhere to go, a ship without a rudder.  I insist on maintaining a healthy lifestyle for fear of wilting into death’s demise. The bottom line is I can’t have what I want – dam-it!

A tantrum starts. Abruptly it ends, like the squalling of a two-year old without an audience. My legs cross over each other until my limbs slide off the side of the bed. As my feet reach the floor I scoot my torso to an upright position. Gaining my balance I saunter to the bathroom. When my business is done, I turn on the hot water. While it warms up I lather the soap in my hands, scrunch up my face muscles then ease the washcloth into the sink. When it is sopping wet I lean over and relish the warmth of the water on my awakening eyes. Using Ron’s favorite drying towel I lay it across my face while it soaks up the droplets from my forehead and cheeks. Thoughts of Danny’s smile emerge. Confused by the dichotomy of grieving for Ron and Dan an invisible dam slows my air flow until I gasp.

Standing in the dark, peering in the mirror, I decide my hair needs brushing. Harshly at first as if shooing the grief from my mind, I lean my head downward. I stroke from the nape of my neck up over the crown of my head and down on my forehead.With each stroke of the stiff bristled brush I coax myself into a better frame of mind.

Grief is supposed to hurt, it’s good to cry I remind myself. My counselor and my sister tell me my behavior is normal. I grab the wall for balance, turn on my phone and begin my morning exercises. It’s a combination of meditation and yoga. My self-imposed rule is to be physically fit, make our bed and get dressed for the day before unlocking my bedroom door to enter the living room.

As I step into the main living area I feel awake, ready to concoct my morning apple cider vinegar potion used to wash down my vitamins. Then, I fill Ron’s tea kettle with water and set it on the burner to boil. I stroll to the piano and practice my three song repertoire until the familiar whistle calls. With coffee in hand I saunter up what we call our stairway to heaven. It leads to the loft. There I muster my mind to write. It is a struggle. Looking out at the stability of the Spanish Peaks I recall what it was like when Danny knocked on heaven’s door. Similarly my current struggle with grief persists. My fight to breath air into Ron’s lungs and Danny’s years before Ron, is relived. Failing again to convince myself I did all I could to revive them, I manage to type a few words. On a good day I perfect a sentence. One f—– sentence; that’s it, one sentence a day. How will I get a book written at this pace? When will the pain stop? Do I even want it to stop?

My thoughts are like a runaway freight train speeding out of control until a dose of reality slams my hand on my desk to stop the madness. My face tightens, my nose runs, and my eyes squint so hard the tears welling up inside are unable to escape. A sob squeaks out. I stop breathing. The involuntary respiratory system takes over.  Slowly I regain my wits, stand up, and walk back downstairs.

        Thank goodness my family, friends tolerate my moodiness, , ,