Ian, Grief didn’t even bother to dress up before coming over. But why am I surprised? Really, what was I thinking? He was going to show up in a tailored suit with flowers and a good bottle of wine, all apologetic for his present behavior? Please.
Nice in theory but Grief does not change. And when I say, he’s doesn’t change, I mean, he doesn’t change anything…clothes, socks, underwear. Nasty.
Dude, I’d forgotten his smell. Took me back a minute but I finally was able to transition (and breathe in mostly through my mouth. Ha!) The good news is that he didn’t come right in and sit on me. Of course, as a preemptive, the door was locked so he had to knock and after I let him in, I did remain standing for the first 10 minutes of his arrival. Hey, you try pulling that off in an intimate social situation. Just the two of us, standing in the living room looking at each other in silence with me trying to breathe through my mouth. Awkward.
Again, no social graces. It’s not like Grief’s going to ask me about my day or how work is going. Thinking about it, do I really want to have idle chit-chat with Grief? Nah, to be honest, I just invited him to dinner to get him out of my driveway. Oh, what the neighbors must think. He did finally sit in the chair right by the front window. Just so the neighbors could get a full view in case they drove by? Grief, it’s all about him, isn’t it?
Just FYI – the dogs refuse to go anywhere near that chair now. How do I remove Grief from upholstery?
But the night progressed and we had dinner which was ok. Grief eats with his mouth open (he has zero manners) and constantly complained about happiness. Go figure.
Things learned: Grief does not like spicy food, prefers drinking his wine from a plastic cup and loves sweets. I barely got dessert out of the fridge before he grabbed it out of my hands. He acts like he’s starving for cryin’ out loud. Yeesh.
So, I sat and watched and listened (mostly to his belching…he eats way too fast. How does he taste anything?) Grief is not a conversationalist. I understand his routine…he likes to unload so being the gracious host, I let him do his thing for a while.
But after dinner and another quick glass of wine, I did speak up.
Grief, first, you have chocolate on your chin. Can you please….not your sleeve. Napkin!! Oh my God, you are making me crazy! Please sit up for just a second.
Humor me, ok? At least, pretend to sit up straight.
I’ll give you a cookie if you will just SIT. UP. PLEASE.
Ok, look, we both know that I am not you and you are not me. Sure, it’s nice when you show up sometimes and we hang out with all your friends (Worry and Self-doubt) but I’m getting a bit tired of you just showing up and hovering.
No, you cannot stand in the driveway and you cannot pop up in my rear view mirror any time you feel like it. Do you know how many times I’ve almost run off the road? It’s dangerous. I know you are all reckless and stuff but I’m not. Some days I just feel like I’m looking over my shoulder. No fun.
Perhaps if you were a bit more refined. Scratch that. Dental work would go a long way and some please’s and thank you’s would take you far. I don’t expect you to be perfect. Just some home training. Who raised you?
Listen, all I’m saying is that I have to figure some things out and I can’t do it living in fear that you are just lurking around the next corner or in the mirror (you really need to stop watching horror movies…you are picking up some cliched habits.)
I know this is sad. You don’t have to tell me twice. I know. I live it every day but I can’t have you turning every situation into something bittersweet. C’mon now. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
I’d just like to have a day where I can just be thankful. Thankful for what I have. You mess that all up.
Again, I know you are doing your job and I wish I could write your employer a letter telling him what an excellent job you are doing. In the meantime, I have a little gift for you. First, a cup of coffee in a to-go cup. I know how much you like to-go cups and here is Ian’s winter jacket. Even if you don’t want to clean up a little, I thought I would just help you spruce up a bit. I’m sure you have somewhere else to be. I know I’m not the only mom out there that has lost a child. But be a little gentle, ok? And I guess if you can’t be gentle (you are nowhere near subtle), you’ll at least appear cleaner. Perhaps smell a bit better.
Call me the next time you are around. Can’t promise anything. If you don’t call and just show up, that shit will just piss me off. No cake for you, buddy. I know you like cake.
Then, make sure to call first.
Ian, Grief doesn’t really listen. He only perked up when I mentioned cake and the coffee. Grief just takes and takes and takes. But knowing he can be bribed with cake…that helps. I’ll remember that for next time. And he left with your coat. Not quite his fit but nothing ever seems to fit with Grief. And I know he cannot be tidied up but it just felt good to put your coat to use.
I’m pretty proud, I have to say. I feel like a grown-up.
As always, love to you and thanks for the good mojo. You continue to inspire me.