I looked back at my blog posts from the beginning of the pandemic. Before my day that the “earth stood still.” Before.
I was hopeful about the good side of lockdown — see Lockdown Italia: Day 10 — it is there. Curiosity was there too, what would this change of lifestyle bring? What would I discover, what would I do?
Then my middle son died. Not from coronavirus, but for over a month I had worried that he would die from the virus. He instead died of complications from an ill-timed, ill-advised surgery that didn’t heal and he ended up with internal bleeding that couldn’t be stopped. He died relatively quickly, and relatively painlessly, without the agony experienced by those COVID patients who die a slow, breathless death.
Even now, I see the mercy in this event. Unfortunately, I haven’t wanted to embrace this reality. Who wants to embace a rattlesnake? This morning, no wait, two days ago, I was listening to a song with lyrics about losing someone and now everyday is a rainy day — I think Bruno Mars was singing it. And I started feeling. My denial, my emotional paralysis, my initial shock might be moving forward.
Moving forward might also be moving downwards, in fact, it has to move downwards. I have to feel sad, outraged, terrified, hollow, abandoned, and I have to wail from the loss. How have I been able to avoid this for so long? For 502 days?
The sadness, the wave of grief has been lapping at my feet for 16 months and now I have to step further into the ocean, while the ocean moves towards me.