Thursday, August 04, 2005

When Time Stops

The incident I'm about to write about actually happened a little bit ago. I just haven't really felt like blogging it until now. Even though this is my space to write about whatever is on my mind, I'm often reluctant to post anything that might be perceived as depressing, because then people think that I'm depressed. I'm not. Far from it. But I do occasionally have less-than-jolly experiences, moments or thoughts.

Lately, they tend to be Liz-related. I miss my friend, and sometimes the pain of that grief hits me so hard that it's almost a physical pain. Usually this happens when I'm alone, like when I go to bed at night or when I'm in the shower (some people sing; I think). I don't mean to imply that it hits me everytime I go to sleep or take a shower. Most of the time, I'm perfectly fine. Then suddenly the horrible realization that she's gone, and how long it's been since I heard her voice or saw her smile, smacks me in the face. I start reliving it all over again, and it feels as though no time at all has passed. I remind myself that this is normal.

Not too long ago, I went out with some college friends to a WashU Alumni happy hour kind of thing. The last time that I had seen one of them was the week after I'd returned from Pittsburgh in April. I assumed back then that he knew, because everyone else that was out that night had known. My assumption was wrong. On this night, not too long ago, I sat at the bar with this friend, and had reason, in the course of a conversation that I can no longer remember, to make reference to 'when Liz was really sick.' He responded by asking me how she was doing.

Time stopped. I don't know how long I sat there, staring at him. It probably was not really that long, but it felt long to me. I know that I didn't handle the situation very well. I was too shocked and shaken to think of a gentle way to let him know. He felt terrible, I felt terrible. That almost physical wave of grief threatened, but I wasn't alone this time. I was in a crowded bar. All I really wanted to do was go into the bathroom and cry, but I didn't want to risk making any kind of scene. I prefer not to cry in front of people, and didn't want anyone to notice that I was upset and ask what was wrong. So instead, I had to shove all those tears and the aching grief deep, deep down, until I was home, alone. I remind myself that this is normal.

No comments: