Yesterday, I desperately needed to go to the store. I considered sending my daughter and letting myself off the hook, yet again, but let my husband talk me into getting out of the house. I'd ventured out for a while on Sunday, seeing several of my friends, and decided that it was too soon. People are unsure of how to act, what to say, knowing there's not much of either to be done. I am blessed with a great number of friends that care about me and want to help, but this is a hugely isolating trauma, for lack of a better description, and I think it's hard on other people to sit and watch a zombie pretend to be present.
So, I have ended up with MANY houseplants...like 18 more than I previously had. For someone who can kill a fake plant, it is no small feat trying to keep them alive and happy. At times, they're a welcome distraction, though, as I research what is best for them and try like hell to care for another living thing...something I feel, at best, completely incapable of doing. I needed soil and pots and plant food and, well, people food, so off to the store I trudged.
I managed to do ok, mostly, until I saw one of my son's best friends, who works at that store. Such a precious boy and, someday, I'll laugh at the memories of the two of them hanging out here, but I'm not there yet. I gave him a hug and promised to invite him to dinner, as he asked me to do, when I saw him at Brandon's memorial. What a sweet thing for him to do, right? I told you...precious. With some deep breaths and reassuring myself inwardly, I got through that and went to the checkout.
There were two older ladies at the checkout ahead of me, chatting happily (and in no hurry btw) with the clerk. I stepped away to grab something and came back to the one woman STILL trying to carefully tear her check out of the checkbook. As she finished, another conversation ensued. The other older woman was telling the clerk about how both she and her friend adopted their daughters and what a miracle it was. The clerk turned to them and said, "Oh yes, you know He works in mysterious ways." I immediately wanted to turn to all of them and say, "Really? Is that what you call that...mysterious ways...taking my 19 year old son from me?" I was seriously angry in that moment. I bit my tongue and reminded myself that they had no idea about my hell.
They walk off smiling, I wait for the clerk to get done so I can have more room to unload my cart. She turns to me and says whatever the normal jargon (I know it's not technically correct, but Brandon LOVED that word, so I'm working it in) is in that situation, like how are you or did you find everything...that sort of stuff. I grit my teeth and even manage to ask her how she is. She, btw, is probably doing pretty damn good because she has not lost a son less than three weeks ago. Well, I assume so, anyway. If she had a 19 year old son, she started LATE. I get up to the register to pay and she asks me if I have kids getting out of school soon. I paused. Like a palpable pause. I saw her physically pause, as she watched me. Because, in my head, I want to say, no KIDS, I now only have A kid. Not plural. My son just died, don't you know, can't you see that? I can't say all of that, though, so I say, "Just my daughter." She said oh and left it at that, though I know she was trying to make conversation. She found me extra coupons, was very gracious and patient and sent me off with a have a great rest of the day. "You, too."
As I walked out, I realized that I hate everyone. I know that sounds awful. It IS awful. It is no one's fault and, honestly, as I have always taught my kids, I have no idea what anyone else is going through. Their hell still hurts, don't assume the worst about them and don't expect them to know what you're going through. But, the world just won't stop. As we all know, life keeps going, no matter how loudly I want to scream, "STOP! My son is gone, I will never get to see him, again. JUST STOP!" It is too soon for me to start living, again. I know that. I want to want to, but I just cannot.
Today, I am not so angry, so maybe that stage of grief was only one day? Yeah, if you know me, you're audibly laughing right now. A girl can hope. For now, I go back to the constant stream of tears...alone...until I can let people in. Someday. I hear it gets easier.