stops and starts



I cleaned up her grave today. Most of the flowers had been disposed of by the caretakers already, but our three arrangements, the small container of dahlias and a pot of african violets still remained. Teapot’s dad had suggested we visit, since our dahlias have really taken off in the past couple of weeks. So I clipped a small bundle of flowers and we took the short drive to the funeral park. It was raining. Teapot and her dad stood under a pink umbrella nearby while I tidied up and arranged the fresh flowers in the gravesite vase. It was strange and sad.

We also brought my dad a few flowers to enjoy, too.

Grief is weird. It sneaks up on you in strange places. I was shopping for a birthday card for my mother-in-law the other day, and I kept staring at the anniversary cards. And then the sympathy cards. And then the cards specifically for cancer patients. And I wanted to cry. Or burn everything. I texted my sisters that I was having a meltdown in the card aisle at a big box store. And that Hallmark was evil. I had to leave. I ended up driving to another mall just to buy a stupid card.

My sisters have had dreams about her. I haven’t. But one night last week, I had nightmares. Scary, black-eyed things crowded around me. I woke up a few times, teetered on the edge of consciousness, before crashing back down into dreams. And then, I remember thinking, “Oh, my mom will take care of them.” And she must have, because after that, I slept on undisturbed till morning.



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