Elegy VII (Metaphors for Grief)
Kathy says grief is like not having your skin on, but I didn’t feel vulnerable at first, or angry, and I didn’t cry or smash plates, and everyone was nice to me, forgave me my general distraction, made fewer demands on me than usual. I couldn’t go to parties though. More than three people in a room and suddenly I couldn’t handle it. Also, I started doing weird math with everyone whose age I know, like that person has now lived three years longer than my mother, or that person has five years to go until he reaches the age of my mother’s death. I kept my skin, but the world had a new gravity, like my mother was now the center towards which everything pulled. I’d think why finish this if Mom won’t see it, or why go to work if my mother is dead? She had never been the axis my world turned on, but suddenly everything seemed to revolve around her. No. Not an axis. A skewer. A spit.