If I were in a more intellectual frame right now, I would write about grief being like the tide. Washing over us of its own accord, without regard to time or place. The waves are higher or lower, but always tossing us about while we try to tread.
But I'm not in a frame to run with an obvious simile. Trying to overthink it is a coping mechanism, and I don't want to cope yet. I want to hurt. I need to hurt. The hurt is the only thing that is going to help, and the only part that feels like it contains truth.
We're all going through this tumult. The cleanup is going to take a very long time, and a lot of contradictions in how we all seek to fix ourselves. The only paths that seem to lead toward healing involve us all being able to see each other again; to touch and hold and love each other after so much time being apart. I can remember what that feeling was like, but it so abstract and foreign that it feels like a myth.
Maybe we are approaching a light that indicates and change for the better. Maybe I'm just wishing for it so hard that the light is appearing to change. I know that I cannot tell the difference.
I've spent the last eleven months sitting in a room full of electronics, sheltering from a world turned harsh and dangerous. And all around me was pain and death and risk. And in a world so focused on rending itself in two, I had the luxury of burying my head and telling myself that I am not vulnerable. What a stupid lie.
Loss will always penetrate this useless, ephemeral shell.
The memorial I'm trying to write today is not the first one I have created in this room. But it is the first one without the landmarks and traditions that make writing it a cathartic exercise. There's no family and friends sitting together at its delivery. There's no comfort in connection that inches closer with every word written. In the end there is only this room, only these screens and these fans that keep the little tendrils of connection moving.
This is no way to conduct this. Yet it is the only tool available.
And in the old paradigm, I could convince myself that a memorial and a ceremony and those people all in one room could provide a landmark on the path to closure. But this time it only feels like a short pause before the next time we have to do this again. Not even a respite before being struck again with loss and grief.
I write that last part in the pain that I'm intentionally sinking into. I know that time will float me back to the surface eventually. But right now I want to be mad that I won't spend the rest of my life subsumed by this nihilistic grief. As if not being completely consumed by it forever is some kind of shortcoming.
Is it though? I'm not sure I know.
I will eventually open my heart to the hope of change.
I will comfort those that are within reach.
Just not today.