Grief hits me when I least suspect it, with a solitary evening walk…


All of a sudden, all I want to do is organize mom’s closet, as she lies on the bed and chats with me, the parrot cuddling her hand, Tobey on the floor below, with Grey Gardens on in the background.

Grief hits me when I least suspect it, with a solitary evening walk, letting the dog meander where he wants, with that first drop of rain.  It hits me sideways and bores into my bad ear, and worms its way down to right below the sternum, to that place between the heart and the gut.  Then moves up through the trachea, into the sinuses then makes the neuralgia flare.  My eyes feel swollen and the tears want to come.  But they don’t.  Not yet.

I saved my mom’s dishrag.  It rests on my mantle like some kind of sacred heirloom.  That dishrag she’d rub obsessively over the counter if she was upset, or cleaned the birdcage with, Oprah on in the background, or washed a stain off my shirt as we got ready for the film fest.

But why just tonight, why now?  What is it about this moment that makes loss so palpable?  So intermingled with nostalgia and gratitude?


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