The Shock Factor

I feel like I should be coming out of the shocked phase by now, but I’m not. It’s coming up on four months. Surely I should have returned to some semblance of normalcy, or at least created a new version of normalcy. A new routine, one that feels natural. Some days do feel normal. Feeding children, changing diapers, adulting all the adult things, changing more diapers, dinner-bath-bed as fast as I can because we’re all exhausted, repeat. This is what my boring normal looks like.

But throughout the day, I still find myself being jolted back to the reality I haven’t been able fully process yet. No, not reality, a dream version of reality, because this can’t be real. Gregg’s gone. He’s not going to call. He can’t pick up anything from the store on his way home. He can’t play with Thomas while I feed Luke. He can’t share in the joy of new milestones, like Thomas’ feet finally reaching the pedals of his tricycle or Luke getting his first tooth. He can’t be the fuel that keeps every conversation going, or the witty spark that lights it up. He won’t do things like cat call me in public to embarrass me. He won’t leave his wet towel on our bed after he takes a shower. He won’t put Thomas’ socks on inside out.

In the middle of my boring normal, the things that he’ll never do keep rocking me like a brick wall to the face. That’s typically how it goes with me, I get so caught up in just putting one foot in front of the other that I forget where I am and why I’m there and I don’t look up until I’ve already hit the wall. And that shit hurts, every time. It’s not that I don’t want to “process” it, whatever the heck that means. I would love to be able to break down what happened into tiny, digestible bites that I could then absorb into my psyche and feel satisfied. But my brain won’t do it. It can only handle a small morsel of it at a time. I feel like it will be that way for a while, which I guess is ok, really. I don’t think there’s a recommended time table, just my own expectations that I need to put aside.

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