It’s almost 1AM. Tonight is the most reponsive I’ve been in the past 3 days. People responded with coursing river swiftness with the cute videos and the memes and such. I’m so humbled at how quickly people respond to my cries. Know that even though my words are inefficient and I am too awkward and timid to thank you directly, I am thankful for each of you.
I got sent some great comedic content at the perfect time. Soon as I got in my car to head to the hospital, tears already welled up.
I’m realizing that without something to occupy my mind, like work, I am left without distraction. When I’m in my car by myself, that’s the most privacy I can get. When I’m alone and not distracted, every fear and guilt comes charging at me.
Soon as I saw him, I wanted to scream. I wanted to scream until my lungs give out. I wanted to throw things and break things. Even though I haven’t been to the gym or kickboxing in the past three days, my legs have threatened to betray me all yesterday. They threatened to run the other way, the closer I drew to his room, to his bedside.
First thing I noticed is his tongue peeping out. And then that there were more tubes than I realized. And that his hand was swollen. And that his weight for the day, according to the white board, is 65.x pounds.
I’ve been too timid to do more than stand in the corner and cry. I’m not good with affection, especially with family. To hold his hand in front of everyone felt too exposed. But I went alone today. So I grabbed his fingers. And I whispered. I whispered apologies. I whispered anger at God. I whispered because I had to keep the door open for the nurse to have quick access. And their laughter carrying in felt invasive and like a cruel joke. And it took a lot of forced will to lift my eyes to look at his face. Because when I see his closed eyes, I’m reminded that I won’t get to make eye contact with him. That they won’t open and see me one last time. That as his tongue limply hangs out so slightly above his upper lip, he won’t speak again. But I already regret so much that I don’t want to regret not taking in as much of him as I can, while I still can.
I try to hold my tears back as much as possible as I drive back. I beg myself to wait until I’m parked at home. Once I am, I break.
I don’t have the same level of privacy at home. I refuse to weep freely, uninhibited where my cries will only break my mother’s heart more, where it might make my brother cry more. And, I have always been uncomfortable with people seeing and hearing me cry.
My car is the safest space. I’m free to make all the noises I want as I weep. And once I feel like I’ve cried enough for the moment, I decide to welcome some normal in, if only for a few minutes. But those minutes turn into the next few hours.
And though it’s nice, I also feel more guilt when I am laughing and enjoying YouTube videos. It feels like betrayal. It feels like I’m doing him dirty by letting moments of happiness in. And I tell myself that he doesn’t want me to be miserable. And I tell myself, in the midst of my hysteria, that even if there were scissors at hand, I can’t do that to myself. It would break his heart and the rest of my family’s if I chose to physically harm myself. It was a tempting thought as I bawled.
My friend has gone to bed. And I’m exhausted now. And I need to get up in time. But I don’t want to sleep. I’m afraid, if I’m honest. I’m afraid to lie down, to turn the lights off, to stop writing which is keeping my brain occupied enough to not let it wander into dark places and painful images again. Because even though my visit was short tonight, I felt like my insides were going through a shredder.
I resort to rereading my other recent posts. Reliving yesterday’s pains are easier than facing today’s.
It’s difficult to say which part hurts most. It all just hurts. They take turns. My guilt. The scary realities that I still am working to accept, that I truly will not get to hear him say anything back, that he will go without actually hearing my whispers. That I am constantly on edge, afraid of a call telling me his heart stopped and that he’s gone. That I’m afraid it might happen in front of me. And I can’t decide which one would be worse.
God, I want rest. I want solace. But my soul is miserable, and confused, and angry. Fear is fighting to beat out Sorrow as my unwanted best friend.