Thursday, April 15, 2010


Today I find that I am breathing in short little breaths. I realize I have been breathing this way for some time. I feel that if I took a deep breath I might blow away this carefully constructed world I have made for myself since Colby passed. Then I would fall apart. Again.

People comment on how well I am doing, how good I look. I can tell how relieved they are that they do not need to worry about me anymore; they can get back to their own lives, their own worries. This is okay by me because I do not want them to know how fragile I really am.

Masks. Many grieving parents I talk to say their life revolves around wearing masks. Here's the happy mask for the grandchild, the caring mask for a spouse who is also grieving. Here's the work mask, and the flat, stone-faced mask for the grocery store. We laugh, we function and some way some day we begin to do better. But that day is years down the road for me, and also for many of the grieving parents I know.

We are afraid to show the world who we really are these days not only because it makes others uncomfortable, but because if we allowed ourselves to be us, really us, maybe we couldn't function at all. So I breathe, in and out, shallowly, carefully, so as not to disturb the fragile threads that are my life.

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