28 May 2008


Someone that I work with has the same first name as the Auntie who passed away last fall. Over the months that I've worked there, surprisingly, I've never exchanged e-mails with this person until recently.

I get most of my e-mail on the crackberry, but the manner in which it displays on the crackberry is different from the way it looks in your in-box on the big computer. So when I signed in to the e-mail on the big computer at the end of that day, I had a quick shot to the gut when I saw the name in my inbox.

My Auntie never had e-mail, that I know of. I can still recite her telephone number from memory, but never exchanged e-mails with her.

More than six months have passed since she died. Time, they say, heals grief. Bullshit, I say.

Bull, because it still hurt when I realized (just a quick second after seeing the name) that the e-mail couldn't be from her. C'est impossible. Even if she had an e-mail account that I was unaware of, sending an e-mail gets a little bit tougher after you're dead. It hurt a little less than it did six months ago, but it still hurts.

I see dearies pushing their shopping trolleys (so much cooler than calling it a grocery cart or buggy, no?) in stores and think it is her. She didn't drive for at least the last 5 years of her life, and maybe longer, but I saw a car the other day and thought, 'oh, there's Auntie.' It wasn't.

Oooh boy, that tells you what a small place I live in, doesn't it?

I wrote the other day about waiting for something to happen, and how my tummy was doing involuntary rolls while I was waiting, sometimes happy swoops, sometimes oh-my-goddess-I'm-going-to-toss-my-cookies swoops.

These jolts of sudden grief are more like what I think a stab wound might feel like. Or what I know getting zapped with electricity feels like. Short, startling, sudden. Painful. Leaving me a bit breathless, and then it is gone.

I wonder if everyone thinks that they see a dearly departed from time to time, only to look again, and realize that there is no resemblance at all between the stranger in front of you and the person you're missing. I do, all the time. That second glance is enough to assure you it isn't them; I almost always roll my eyes at my own insanity and move on. And I hear the lyrics to a Jimmy Buffett song, which isn't even about grief...or isn't exactly about grief. It is about Hurricane Katrina, but regardless, it is good advice.

I bought a cheap watch from the crazy man
Floating down Canal
It doesn't use numbers or moving hands
It always just says "now"

Now you may be thinking that I was had
But this watch is never wrong
And if I had trouble the warranty said:
Breathe in, breathe out, move on

I'm trying.

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