I Feel My Heart’s Like A Fist.


It’s a truth no one tells you: Your parents will die and you will ache an immeasurable ache that leaves you feeling cold in the warmest of company, alone in the crowdedest spaces. It hurts every day and you will cry and you will scream and you will feel like a cork screw has been inserted ‘tween two of your ribs and that your heart has been twisted, contorted, and squeezed physically through a space far too small for it to fit out of. Your parents will die and the word “sad” will have a new meaning. Your parents will die and you will be alone.

Perhaps it’s an emotion that comes with youth – I insist that I’m too young for this. I realize that I’d feel too young at any age but 26? There was so much more life for me to live before this swell of sadness overtook me! There was a boy to meet, an engagement, a wedding, there were kids to be had! Even more important, although seemingly more insignificant, there were moments that were to take place – Not events, just moments. There were jokes to tell, episodes of The Simpsons to watch, songs to listen to, ice cream to eat, and mini-golf to play. There were stories that will never get told about things that will never happen. There was a whole slew of memories that should be nestled in bits of my brain that I can’t think of now because they never happened and it isn’t fair.

I used to think about my dad dying. It wasn’t often but still, I thought of it. And in these thoughts, I was older, an accomplished adult with glasses in a button up shirt and pencil skirt, the kind of clothes adults wear. He was gray haired and withered with age, his face dried like an apricot. He was in a hospital and I held his hand and he succumbed to slumber. That was what was supposed to happen but it was not what transpired – The only time I got to hold my father’s hand in a hospital was when he was already dead and gone, body cold and splotched with rigor-mortis. I wasn’t wearing glasses or a button up shirt or a pencil skirt. I was wearing a party dress, left overs from a celebration the day before that already seemed ages away, and my face was aglow with the youth I was losing, round with innocence that was perishing before I realized it was something to grab at, grasp tight with shaking fingers before it turned to dust, disintegrated. Now life is divided, “before” and “after”, “then” and “now”.

I busy myself with the strangest of things – I make things to feel a sense of accomplishment, I take up cross-stitching and paper-cutting, but these small moments of gladness are tinged with bittersweetness, reminders that I’ll never get to make a paper-cut for my dad and Laura on their anniversary because there are no anniversaries to had, no more birthdays or holidays, summer barbeques or weekends spent at my dad’s house on Lake St. Claire. There are no more texts to send, no more phone calls to make.

Time passes and it gets easier yet, at the same time, it gets harder – The less I cry, the more it hurts when I do cry. The more “good days” I have, the harder the “bad days” hit. I go out more and more infrequently and when I do leave, I feel like I’m the ghost, barely tangible and only half here and the people that can make me feel whole again are gone.


One Response to “I Feel My Heart’s Like A Fist.”

  1. bernardsnowy Says:

    hey stranger. found yr blog while googling “lay of the last survivor” (total Okkervil River fanboy); don’t know you at all but my heart goes out to you. I’ve spent the last ~8 months in near-suicidal despair, writing poems and wallowing in misery and (probably) being really unpleasant to be around, and hating all of my friends for not caring more or making more of an effort to be sympathetic and supportive… and that was just me getting over a bad breakup. feels pretty fucking trivial in comparison — can’t even imagine how a death like that must hurt.

    I dunno what to say but hang in there. and keep writing, you’re quite good at it!

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