18 June 2008

Why I am hiding in my sandbox like Brian Wilson

It doesn't seem like the modern world has a place for ordinary grief left to take its own course. We are supposed to manage it somehow, I think. There are routines, ritual ways of talking about it, limits on leave and the expectation that after a few weeks or months it will just be over. And it's just not like that. My friend died 3 months ago. I am past thinking of him everyday, but I still haven't been able to delete his number from my phone. I am handling the day to day stuff pretty well, but I can't get a handle on anything much more. Whole weeks of routine laundry and grocery and going to work slip by without leaving any sense that time has passed. It's getting better, bit by bit, but there are bad moments like spotting his birthday in the calendar ahead that still break me down. (I was so proud to put that in there. All these years and I was never able to keep his birthday straight, and lost the note every time I wrote it down.) I'm listening to a lot of music and thinking about it. I have things I want to write about, some written notes even. I just can't get my thoughts on anything abstract to line up coherently. Time for small steps. One useful thing I've learned: all those things they tell you about how to feel better really do work. Sleep more, drink more water, get outside and walk around, all that stuff that seems like such a drag--it works, not overnight but gradually. The big three for happiness: sleep, water, and sunscreen.

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