People who have recently lost someone have a certain look, recognizable maybe only to those who have seen that look on their own faces. I have noticed it on my face and I notice it now on others.
The look is one of extreme vulnerability, nakedness, openness. It is the look of someone who walks from the ophthalmologist's office into the bright daylight with dilated eyes, or of someone who wears glasses and is suddenly made to take them off.
These people who have lost someone look naked because they think themselves invisible.
From Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking.
I haven't blogged much (at all, not since it happened) about the only thing I'm thinking about, because this blog has been so often crowded with death and dying and grieving and loss and haven't we all had enough already?
But it occupies my every thought, when I'm not chasing it to some dark corner with work or travel or chores (my house? so tidy you wouldn't believe.).
A friend said today "you should tell people that: that she was more than most grandmothers; that she was more to you," and she was. My mother left me and my stepmother didn't like me much. There was no one to mother me.
She said "tell them" like it would make it hurt less; or maybe make people care more.
But people caring more will not make me feel any less alone.
"That's a lonely feeling," another friend said, when he sent condolences, and they were the truest words I've received.
Which is a long way of saying that reading Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking this weekend is the first time I haven't felt so crazy or so terribly alone since the ceiling caved in.
Highly recommended if you are grieving, or have grieved, or will grieve.
Which pretty much makes it mandatory reading for everyone on the planet.