After a summer surrounded by those I can tell anything to, it seems I am once more in need of the catharsis of writing out my worries if only for my own peace of mind.
Yesterday was a dark day where sadness stripped the world of colour and I couldn't have spoken to anyone, even if they'd been here. There are some things which must be borne in private. But today has been a day of choices.
I've spent days making up excuses for things which I want to avoid facing. Sometimes it is irrational worry or premature grief, perhaps it is a drawn-out and poisoned friendship or a relationship which is only half of what it should be, stopping just short of true happiness. Things become the norm which an earlier or a later version of yourself would see as out-of-character but happen nonetheless, because the alternative is difficult. It is almost impossible to abandon grieving and expose yourself to the greater injury of firmly holding on to the thing you are going to lose. It takes heartbreak to recognise that an old friend is no longer a good friend and to leave that chapter of your life unresolved. It takes heartbreak to look at somebody and realise you have outgrown them after they changed your life, even in a small way, for the better and to refuse to settle for less than perfection, when less-than-perfect has been so terribly good to you.
I think what I'm trying to say is that living a life which avoids heartbreak is cowardly. I can sit in my room and feel that the world is ending or I can go out and pretend that everything is okay, but when I look inwards all I see is regrets hiding behind excuses. I have to be brave and work for the things I need. I have to throw myself in to the final chapters of a closing book, I have to leave where I am no longer welcome and push away those things which while comfortable, no longer fit me. I can't wait for someone or something to break me, I have to jump, damn the consequences and then live with the pain until I can turn it in to a story of the places I have been.
I've always been one of those people that other people tell things to. Friends rely on my generally sunny disposition, wise sounding philosophy, ice cream supply and absorbent shoulder to catch them when they fall and put things back together again and I'm proud of that. But the problem is that I'm not the one who is meant to be broken, I don't know how to fall apart because I have no idea if I can put myself together again, which is why I'm breaking my blogging fast.
For the first time in my life I'm set to lose something I truly love and I'm absolutely terrified. Blessed as I have been to be a part of a stable home the passage of time is one trouble I can't explain away or plaster over or even lie to myself about any more. So I have to spell it out.
Some time, probably before Christmas, my grandfather is going to die.
The man that gave me my curls and taught me to read and made me love literature, who I was terrified of disappointing with my work, who paid for me to follow my dreams and loved me quietly from behind his newspaper even when I was a squealing annoyingly exuberant eight-year-old is done fighting.
I don't even know how to express how it feels. It's kind of like anger, a disbelief that he wont take any more medication or let them experiment on him, though it's the last thing I want, coupled with a crippling helplessness that I'm so far away and that I can't run to his side and spend every last moment in his company. And all wrapped in selfishness, the fact that I can't imagine Christmas without him, or him not being in the photographs at my wedding, never knowing what he's have wanted me to name my kids, or whether they looked like him. I don't know how to remove him from my expectations. It's just a numb stupidity.
And sadness. It's almost like he's gone already. I can't think about it without wanting to cry, the most well-meaning of friends will find a kind word reduces me to a puffy-faced wreck, curled up in bed, frustrated at my weakness and completely at a loss as to how to make it feel better.
Whoever said that it is better to have loved and lost than never to love at all must have had the benefit of hindsight, because while I would never wish away a second of the days I have spent with my grandfather, the mere anticipation of his loss hurts me more than anything I have ever experienced. I can't imagine ever being able to summarise it with such blithe succinctness.