Sorrow is weird here in Ohio.
I mean, it’s not the state’s fault. I’m sure people all over this land of corn and buckeyes grieve normally, staying home from work, skipping school, attending funerals. I’m sure they too gather with their families and do meaningless activities that only matter because they remind them what it’s like to be normal; normal when everything has been terribly shaken. They can grieve together and tell worn-out stories that suddenly seem fresh and pass around pictures of younger faces and better days. At least, this is how my family grieves for loved ones, the many times already we have been through this process.
My family is in Virginia, clinging to each other and cozy meals and familiar roads and struggling to understand this new normal. They are telling stories and throwing snowballs and continuing with life, as it is now for them.
As the calendar says I should, I’m in Ohio, learning how to best outline documentation and when to start job searching and what the difference is between transitive and intransitive verbs. I don’t have time to sit and figure out a new way to grieve here. I spent most of yesterday by myself, which I thought would completely eradicate the ache in my throat. I didn’t say the words out loud until late last night, when I was finally asked point blank if I was all right. It is necessary at times to avoid those who love you but do not understand where you have been.
I’m grieving in a new place and about a new scenario. I have never had to deal with these questions before, ones I always used to brush off and not ponder. I am unstable in thoughts and tear ducts, never knowing what is going to come up next to leave my eyes puffy, my face red, and my head throbbing like I haven’t had caffeine in a week.
I never quite know how to express when I’m upset or sorrowful. I internalize, which annoys my poor friends. Mom couldn’t believe I took so long to tell them……but when your friends are stressed out over organic chemistry and anatomy and future grad school applications, it’s hard to put your own troubles on their hearts.
I don’t know how to cope here in Ohio, other than to eat at McDonald’s with two of my dudes and let a senior ask me if I’m okay in the bathroom and stare at my claddagh ring, remembering who I am, the ones who have been with me this far, and He who will make me okay soon enough.