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Friday, March 18, 2011

Flashback

It hit, sitting in the theater tonight, next to my husband, watching a romantic comedy. It was this little scene where the protagonist visits his father in the hospital. The hospital bed did it. Seeing this man, who I knew was Kevin Kline and not either of my parents, lying in a hospital bed had my chest beginning to tighten. Soon, it felt like I couldn't get a breath in. In the back of my mind flashed pictures of Mom sitting up in her hospital bed talking the week before she died, then Mom lying in a similar bed, skin pinched back, mouth open, non-responsive, then Dad lying in the same type bed, just lying there when he should have been up talking, moving around, making me sigh because he wanted to go for a walk when I didn't. I whispered to Jeff, "If they don't get out of that room, I'm going to have to leave." Tears rolled down my face and I curled my arms around me. I could tell Jeff had no idea what I even said. After all, it made no sense, this was a comedy. Just before I bolted from my seat the scene shifted. It took me a few more minutes to stop crying. At one point, I gave one of those hiccupy sobs and thought, 'great, the people in front of me are going to think I'm crying at this dumb movie.' It amazed me how quickly the grief came on.

Until that point, Jeff and I had a wonderful evening out. The kids spent the night away so we had two date nights in a row. We went to Red Lobster, talked about the future, had a great time. Then I begin blubbering at the late movie. It seemed like I couldn't get warm again after that. When we got home I took a hot shower using the time to examine the unraveled threads of my emotions before braiding them up again and tucking them away. I told Jeff that I worry something is wrong with me because I am not feeling this enough, not constantly.

He asked,"how is it supposed to feel?"
I said, "Like someone has reached down your throat and grabbed a tight hold on your intestines and is twisting them while they pull them out your mouth. Instead, I have a slight stomach ache with occasional nausea." I wonder how that is possible. I don't know why I am not on the ground. Instead, I seem quite able to go on and do daily life. I don't know how Mom was after her mother died. I wish I had asked and I hope I was kind.

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