The Atmosphere

It’s not true that I’m always thinking of H.  Work and conversation make that impossible.  But the times when I’m not are perhaps my worst.  For then, though I have forgotten the reason, there is spread over everything a vague sense of wrongness, of something amiss.  Like in those dreams where nothing terrible occurs- nothing that would sound even remarkable if you told it at breakfast-time- but the atmosphere, the taste, of the whole thing is deadly.  So with this….”

“This is one of the things I’m afraid of.  The agonies, the mad midnight moments, must, in the course of nature, die away.  But what will follow?  Just this apathy, this dead flatness?  Will there come a time when I no longer ask why the world is like a mean street, because I shall take the squalor as normal? Does grief finally subside into boredom tinged by faint nausea?”  

C.S. Lewis A Grief Observed

I read this book last Christmas, but I kept thinking of this passage today.  This is how life is starting to feel now when I am distracted.  I still wouldn’t say I ever “forget,” but that I am simply not able to hold the processed, understood, grasped, event in my mind at all times.  So, then when I do- let’s say I see a photo of us I keep in the kitchen- it is sharper than ever now.  That is you- that is what all of this is about.  This universe of surreal day to day, get up, go here, take care of this, sit alone each night.  It is then, when I remember exactly what your spine felt like below my feet when you begged me to walk on it and crack your back- or when I remember the feel of your hand in mine- or when I force myself to imagine the look on Audrey’s face should you walk in the door right this moment- that the old life spills out like a giant accordion photo card with snapshots of eleven years of life and love.  Until it hits the floor.

I am tired of this now.
I hate that the guaranteed emails in my inbox are from the drowning support network (I really should just unsubscribe from this at this point) and other widows.  That the notifications I get the most on Facebook are all for groups called “Hope for Widows” or “The Widowed Parent.”
I hate that we are a broken family but other families feel uncomfortable asking us to join them on a Saturday or Sunday because of that fact.
I hate that every time I tell Audrey something about you- I know I’m in a sense “creating you” for her- and it just doesn’t come close to the real you.
I hate the time that is passing right this moment and that you are never coming back.

This pain is with me like a piece of hair on the wet sponge as I wash the dishes tonight.  It gets twisted around my finger and I can’t shake it off.  It’s disgusting.

3 thoughts on “The Atmosphere”

  1. I would like nothing more than for you and Audrey to join us for a weekend brunch or an outting to the park. Anytime…really.

  2. I would like nothing more than for you and Audrey to join us for a weekend brunch or an outting to the park. Anytime…really.

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