For the past 8 months I have done almost no writing. After the death of my dad, the world, my world careened out of control. That’s not to say I went off and pretended to be a college kid again or anything, no drugs or all night binges here. But grief does things to the mind. It changes a person.
One of my friends told me that after someone dies is the only time in life when we aren’t insane because nothing in the world is more real than death. And facing that reality removes any delusions from our vision. He was right to certain extent.
For the first few weeks it was like living in a bubble where nothing touched me and I touched nothing. And then came the months of weeping at the drop of a hat. Just the thought of my dad sent me into tears. Nostalgia set in next and I found myself thinking “oh dad would have loved that” or “I wish dad was here to see this”. Honestly, I’m not sure that phase will ever end. The hardest times are when I forget he died and want to tell him something or ask his thoughts. In that brief moment of brain fog, I can almost see him standing in the kitchen, wine glass in hand, teasing the cat. I can smell his aftershave, feel the 5 o’clock shadow, hear his voice.
But then he’s not there.
I’m 8 months into this journey that I never wanted to take. And I’m just now finding the time and space to put words on paper again. You might call this my inaugural blog … clearly marking this profound wrinkle in my verbal world. I intended to write today, like I used to write every day. To put words on the page, post a word count on Twitter, brag to my writing friends who are all bragging to one another about their dismal contributions to the literary world. And they are dismal. Because we’re writers and we say they’re dismal, that we could have done better, that we should have done more, that the muse wouldn’t come, or we got stuck in editing, or Facebook was just too intriguing, or the neighbor wouldn’t quit mowing his lawn. Because that’s what writers do.
My paltry 450 words or so aren’t much in the scheme of novel writing or even short story telling. But for me, for today, they are the best words I’ve ever written. The best thoughts I’ve ever transcribed from my grief soaked brain onto the page. And tomorrow I will write a few more, and the next day and the next and the day after that, too. Because I’ve been 8 months dry and it’s time for that to end.