The picture I want up here is that of my hotel room–dark, lights off…with a crack of afternoon light streaming off the Mediterranean sea between the narrow curtain opening as it flaps in the wind. I just want to sit in the dark all day.
We are sitting shiva, to Jewish custom. The funeral has been done, we have honored her, and now we sit with our grief.
My grief cannot compare to that of the immediate family and yet I cannot bear it at all.
I cannot bear to be in the same room, to have my grief even keep company with their noble grief, and so I retreat to my room, curtains drawn, my body wracked with a strange fever, shivering and crying for reasons so overwhelming that I cannot articulate them. Guilt, anger, sorrow. What else. I’m sure there’s more. My heart can’t take it.
My duty here is to support the family and yet I am falling apart. It feels selfish for me to do this, but I cannot hold it together anymore.
I call friends, desperate for a familiar and friendly voice. I find comfort for two seconds.
She was a good friend of mine–but our friendship was on hold when she died. We were in a fight, one I thought would resolve in a matter of days…but somehow escalated so that it was hard to cross the divide a week later. Months passed and arrows still shot. A year passed, and the threat of arrows still existed. Years passed, and our silence became habit. I never hated her, but I did think we had twenty years to resolve this split.
Someday, I thought, it would naturally fix itself.
I was wrong.
She is dead! And there is no way to resolve this. No way to take back my last words to her years ago, so unkind and angry and cold.
Everyone is so sad and devastated–would she have died if ONE thing in her life had changed? If the chain of events had taken another vector? She probably would have lived. And I cannot help but feel responsible for these days.
So now I regret the fight.
It was so stupid. And I am so sad and devastated and alone.