What you don’t know about my grief, maybe everyone’s grief, is the raging battle within. Every action I take and every interaction I engage buffets me like a storm.
I will be going to lunch with an old friend today. Will it be awkward? I have not seen her in years. Will she break down? Will I? Should I talk about Caleb?
People ask “How are you?”. This brings the question up in my thoughts. This same question I keep repressing for fear of the truth. Then I wonder if they are asking out of habit or pleasantries in place of “Good Morning”. Should I tell them? What should I tell them? I don’t know how I am. I know I am not doing great and may never be great again. I hope I will yet I also hope I never forget.
Oh, I need groceries? Do I really want to go to the store? I might see someone I know Am I ready to see a friend? Even worse, I might see an acquaintance who knows but has not expressed condolences. What if the person I see is one of his abusers? Will I be able to stay civil?
Maybe I should go for a bike ride. He and I used to hang out over there. Can I deal with that today? I don’t know until I do. Do I want to risk it?
Risk. He and I loved playing Risk. So much fun shared. Now I have hit another trigger, blindsided by my own thoughts discussing how I avoid these triggers. At the same time, I want to talk about him. I need to talk about him. Ironically, most people who knew us both want to avoid talking about Caleb. What people don’t know is that despite the battle, despite the anxiety, I do not want to be babied. I do not want to avoid if I have a safe friend to listen.