Since my mom died, I no longer know who I am. My identity eludes me like an amnesiac fresh off a motorcycle accident. I cannot understand the breadth of these personality changes, but I can identify their symptoms…
I used to leave clothes and empty glasses all over my bedroom. I am now a neat freak who loves reorganizing my freezer and Dust Busting stray hairs from my bathroom floor. I used to write everyday. Now the act feels arduous, requiring concentration that demands every ounce of my energy. I used to play the guitar and write songs. Now the instrument is just another object in the room. An object I’m eager to dust.
I no longer care about my dreams. I no longer care about success. All I care about is stability and order. And love. Because all we have in the end is love, food, and television. And I don’t want to end up without any of those when my time comes. So I fixate on them, and literally a few years later realize that I now live like I’m sick — spending all day alone watching copious amounts of television. The glowing screen, the only thing that takes my mind off of what’s happened and the exorbitant amount of effort I will have to exert to get my life back.
Other than television, I now hate technology. Any opportunity to avoid the computer is heaven. I fantasize about becoming a park ranger and walking through forests for a living. I start getting the newspaper because it’s tangible, and I fear it will also disappear. Objects that ground me are comforting and necessary.
Things that fail to land in this category…
Facebook: Irritating — people are too happy, petty or surface-y.
My iPod: Overwhelming. I can’t listen to a song for more than 10 seconds before changing it to another because it “just doesn’t feel right.” I’m in the mood to listen to everything. I’m in the mood to listen to nothing. Who the hell is this artist? How’d she/he get on here? Let’s listen to her. Let’s not.
I change the song but nothing feels right. Nothing has since the day she died.
Grief is like A.D.D. Your brain flits from thought to feeling to distraction to emptiness like an insect buzzing from flower to flower. You just can’t quite get it to choose a stamen and suck the nectar. All of the sweetness is gone, anyway, and yet you remain — trying to find a place to land.