Grief Handbook, Part 19

As soon as I posted my entry yesterday, Part 18, I immediately felt guilty.

That’s a part of grief, I think, that no one tells you: the guilt you feel.  Not for being alive when someone else is gone, although yes, that is a part of the milieu of emotion.  Rather, the guilt for doing everyday normal things, like eating, and sleeping, and smiling.

And coping.

When my mother died, I could only eat cereal for two or three days.  It was the only food I felt comfortable eating, not because it was easy on the system, which of course, it is, but rather, because it was just food.  It wasn’t good; it wasn’t bad; it just was.  There was no guilt associated with eating cereal because cereal, at the end of the day, is just sustenance.  When you stop buying it for the toy prize inside, it stops being a meal.

But I remember the first day after her death that I was hungry, and by hungry, I mean, ravenous.  I had to eat, and I wanted to eat well.  That made me feel so, so guilty.  Everything did: laughing, smiling, sleeping, anything normal because what was normal in this world in which my mother no longer lived?

Nothing.  Not food.  Not normalcy.  Nothing.

So yesterday, when I posted that I was beginning to cope with my grief, I felt immediately, intensely, overwhelmingly guilty.  I’m not supposed to cope with my grief.  Isn’t it a betrayal of my mother if I start healing?  If I start moving on?

This is Carrion Comfort.  This is picking at the corpse of grief, bit by bit.


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