This intense mourning thing has brought me to a very strange place. I'm not sobbing uncontrollably or wailing or ripping at my clothes. That's not my style. In fact, since coming home from the memorial service, I'm not much of anything.
I'm still the mom - making lunches, driving kids from point A to point Z and all points in-between, squirting antiseptic on bloody knees and cooking healthy meals. I'm still taking care of the house and the pets and the yard. Still listening to Bubba bounce his business ideas off of me and phoning the insurance company to refill prescriptions.
But beyond that, I am simply full. In a normal week, there is more than enough capacity in the Super Big Gulp that is me to contain difficult stories of friends and family. Tell me about the fight you had with your partner, the sticky issue at work. I'll listen to you talk about your fears and hopes and offer tissues and a soft shoulder to lean on. Let me bring you flowers or an encouraging card or dinner for your family tonight. I've got enough time and I want to show you I care. You are not alone.
This week, someone has snuck that enormous orange paper cup out to the 7-11 while I wasn't looking and filled it to overflowing with my own stuff. I have no room for anything else. I just want to put the lid on this bad boy and carry it home without anything slopping over the side, leaving sticky residue on my pants or my shoes. Once I get there, I'm not sure what to do. I don't particularly want to stick a straw in it. In fact, just taking the top off and gazing into the cup is honestly all I can manage at this point.
I know that there were other people who felt strong ties with my father. I know that there are others who are grieving intensely for him. I just don't want to talk to them. I don't want to hear anyone else's story of their relationship with Dad. I don't want to know how they're coping and I don't want them to ask how I am. I just want to hold this container and look into its depths. I've never seen it full and I can't imagine how it can ever be less than full again.
I'm resentful that the world is continuing on around me. The trees are blooming, commuters head to work and home again day after day, baseball season is underway. Everything looks the same outside but nothing is the same. How is that possible? How can this world look the same without my father in it?
In the meantime, I am deeply grateful for the words of support and love that come my way each and every day. I am using them to insulate my big orange cup. My big, full, orange cup.