Tuesday, June 27, 2017

359 Days

Exactly that many days ago Troy and I were spending time with Cody and Sydney in Oregon after celebrating a beautiful wedding of a close friend. Exactly that many days ago at this exact time I was taking these selfies, filled with joy at getting to see my son that I hadn't seen in more than 6 months.

These pictures make my heart hurt. I miss him so much. At times it seems unbearable. And as we approach that horrible 1 year mark it becomes all too real all over again. It seems so long ago. Because it was 359 days ago, after all. A long time. But in the same breath I remind myself, "It's only been a year." It seems like Cody is just on some bus somewhere, traveling with his wayward friends and enjoying life the way he needed to. 

But he's not traveling. He's not out of cell service range and can't call me.

He's just gone. He will never be calling me again. Not in 10 days when my birthday rolls around. Not on Troy's birthday. Never. And the longer I go without hearing his voice, the more I feel his absence.

There are many things in my life that are difficult since Cody died. Simple things. Things that defined me as a person before July 3, 2016. I just don't have the energy for most of them. My brain just has a difficult time processing things like it used to and it's draining...and physically tiring. So execution of the smallest of tasks seems like a monumental undertaking. But how am I still working? Good question, but the answer probably lies in the fact that I have nothing left once I leave work. I'm forgetful, I'm tired. I'm kind of numb with spurts of sporadic energy usually reserved for my husband, children and grandson. I don't have much patience and I really use to have a boatload. It's hard for me to smile and be polite with strangers when I want to tell them why I'm not happy and overshare my entire life because I think they need to know I'm not normally like this. Over analyzing what people might be thinking about my frown is another of my favorite pastimes lately. It shouldn't matter what they think. I need to just BE however it is I need to BE.

I also have all these things rolling around in my brain that I want to do but can't actually follow through with. Mailing a pile of gifts to people around the world that I've gathered up along the year to show my appreciation for those that have reached out to my family. Mailing just one of them. Mailing a damn birthday card. Buying a birthday card. Getting dressed to go get the birthday card. Getting dressed. Getting out of bed.

Execution - 0; Grief - 9,284,760.

So getting back to the gym seems pretty much impossible right now. So impossible I don't even put it on the list of short-term goals. It's on the list of things I use to do. With about 98 other things.

I would love to scrapbook again, but my scrap supplies haven't really been touched since I was planning Cody's service. It's a disaster in there, with reminders piled everywhere of the last big project I did. So then motivation quickly dies.

Execution - 0; Grief - 9,284,761.

There was one aspect in my life that I just could not look at anymore. This is a great illustration of my brain, actually. If you are of a certain age you can remember the drug-awareness campaign that quoted, "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs." with a picture of an egg cracked open in to a frying pan.

This is my brain on grief. My side of the bed looked like this for about 11 months.

This is my brain trying to find a version of its formal self. And looking to make my bedroom a more peaceful, restful place in an effort to find some of that elusive sleep. From the time I decided it needed to be done to full execution - 6 weeks. It took me just a day from start to finish.

Execution - 1. And the rest of that score doesn't matter because I've got 1. It's a start.

I'm a long way from being okay, from feeling truly okay. I think each of the Pryors have some really good days and we are each battling in our own ways to keep life moving forward and not let Cody's absence overcome us. We are working through all of it and each day gets better. But we also have our bad days. And the grief doesn't always show up in tears. Sometimes it's laughter. Sometimes it's forgetfulness. Sometimes it's temperament. Sometimes it's a burst of motivation. Sometimes it's procrastination. Sometimes it's fatigue. Sometimes it's anxiety. Sometimes it's IDGAF. And sometimes it's every single one of those things in a single day.

But it's always grief in some form because we lost a member of our family. Troy and I lost a child. Nathan and Lindsay each lost a brother AND their best friend. It's going to take a long time to be "okay". Truly okay.

Much longer than 359 days.

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