The Games I Play
by Ralph Pena
(New York, NY)
I just passed the sixth month. Is it any easier? No.
A couple of months ago, I was able to hold it in. I’ve been taking anti-depressants since February, which I resisted at first, but which has proven to be a life-saver. I’m pretty sure it was the meds that allowed me to function. Two weeks ago, that changed.
I sank deep into depression. I cry every day, more uncontrollably than I did immediately after the death. I still go to work, but I break as soon as I enter the house. Then I sit paralyzed for the rest of the evening, until I force myself to sleep – and I can’t. I’ve been going on three hours of sleep for the past month.
No, it doesn’t get easier. Six months isn’t really a long time. At least, that’s what everyone says – those who’ve been on this grief journey. “Oh honey, you’re very early in your grief.” I can understand that. I can understand numbers. My question is, “early” as a portion of “how long?” Two years, three, seven, ten? I know life will never be the same. How can it be? But will I ever see the point to living?
Some days it feels like an eternity. Some days it seems like it was yesterday. Most days, I don’t know what to feel. I just keep saying “I miss you.” Out loud. To the walls, to the couch, to the cat, to the plates, to the door, to the fridge. “I miss you.”
Last week, I got some good news. A project I had been working on for two years is finally going to launch. All the people involved were beaming, back-slapping each other. I was happy, too. Then I went home – and it meant nothing to me.
I used to love to cook. Not’n’more. We collected pots and pans and all kinds of cooking widgets. I can’t stand looking at them now. I took all the photos from the mantle and boxed them. All the photos of our travels, our families, our life – out of sight. I rearranged the furniture. I bought a new couch. I re-oriented the bed, so I don’t have the same view of the window. I made the house grief-proof.
These are the games I play.