Cupid met Death and together they found Jessica during the earliest–nearly 2 a.m.– start to a new day, the weekend, and Cupid’s own holiday. I wrote about the feelings of initial loss in honoring a friend and family I love. The aftermath holds court now and even the weather is unmanageable.
Each night I waited for updates on Sally’s status. The distant chirp of phone indicating a message received caught me by surprise and I feel as though I am still regrouping from the news. I live an unusual life compared to many and now, in these days following Sally’s death, everything seems amplified. I think perhaps is has something to do with the fact that I am not to speak of it to anyone. I’m so glad I was able to honor Sally’s wishes and tell Jessica a little something. I yearn to talk to my fellow housemates and share memories. Cry through laughter and laugh through tears. Instead, I grieved as quietly as possible over the weekend because I served as a reminder to someone with a job to do here in caring for us and she had no room to go into, now door to close and shut out the world. Then the snow fell.
Four, six, eight inches or better and we were expectedly snowed in with minimal staff. Monday hit and I emerged from my room all smiles and ready to roll. Whatever was necessary, come what may. More family business. Man, taking care of us isn’t easy. I was kaput and slept like I hadn’t in a long time once I tapped out at 5, my two biggest cares having opted for naps prior to dinner, and more staff in for second shift. All the while though, I was knew I was hanging out to keep Sally company because Sally was gone and I when I took a seat in the dinning room at lunch, I took the one assigned to Jessica. I sat at the table laughing and talking throughout lunch, but in my head, I knew Jessica’s visitation and internment were to begin in 24 hours. Her other friends, our friends, none the wiser, but wondering aloud if anyone knew how she was.
Having become close with Sally’s family, my heart is heavy for their grief and heartache. A message from Sally’s granddaughter, my close friend, and peer, telling me of her anxiety over the next few days causing me to feel even more frustration over the weather. As I type these words the visitation for family and friends is underway. During our messaging conversation this morning I had to tell her I would not make it. No ride. Too much snow. She said she understood. She also said she had hoped to see me today.
If my life was more conventional, would I be letting down my friend? No. I’d be there. If my life was more conventional, I wouldn’t have met Jessica or her family. That, that, is the greater loss.
And while I may be prohibited from saying anything to my housemates, I still sent flowers. And on that card I added names. I added Sally’s name and the name of another. When I’m able, I know it will please them to learn that I took care of that family business as well.
The flowers I ordered from on online florist and addressed the card to three specific members of the family and signed using only my name? They can’t be delivered due to the snow storm. I just got the email notification, instead the arrangement will get delivered directly to Sally’s granddaughter, same card, same message, but not until tomorrow. Perhaps tomorrow someone will walk into my room and ask how I am.
My computer is filled with images of Sally. Candids and group shots alike as chronicled by the various events, activities, and random moments of living over the last six months. I found myself scrolling through them earlier and now I struggle with the question: am I capturing life, creating memories with my omnipresent camera or am I chronicling death?