This is an excerpt from Standing on One Leg by Neal Raisman available from the author at email@example.com
The first weeks and months were like the movie, Groundhog Day. I began each day the same way. Waking. Feeling a free floating anger. Seeing his body on the floor and shuddering in the reality of his death.
Struggling to push myself out of bed. Not wanting to get up. The bed and sleep being the only place and time when I could momentarily forget reality. Sleep became a blessing. A time when the horror of that day did not repeat itself endlessly like a looped bit of video.
Finally shoving myself to get up. Get dressed. Trying to remember to shower. Cleanliness seemed such a small issue the first days against the enormity of what had happened.
Then go downstairs to drink coffee. Eat a little something. Take my meds which seemed foolish because I was not fully sure I wanted to keep on going. In fact it seemed that the only way to stop the same day every day was to end them all.
I would push myself through the day. The first weeks just sitting on the couch trying to get some energy to do something. Not going to work which seemed so pointless now. Especially for people I did not like to work for.
And the day would slip by in people coming over to pay their condolences. Going through the same charade each time. “yes, thanks for asking. I am doing okay” when I wasn’t. They should have known that and not even asked.
What a dumb question. Of course I was not alright. I just lost my son. How the hell do you think I am. I really am?”
The finally going back to work. Pushing through the day with the image of my dead son ever-present in my mind. Not needing all the people asking how I was doing and forcing me to claim I was fine when I wanted to scream at them. “How the hell do you think I am doing? My son just died you moron. I am doing horribly and your asking just brings it all back. Thanks for your faux concern.”
But saying “okay, considering.” Considering that my leg was just ripped off and I can’t stand on the remaining one all that well.
Making it through the day to go home where now there were not other mourners. Weeks having gone by and people dropping away. Staying away for fear they will get sucked into our grief. That death could be catchy.
Watching TV but not seeing or hearing it. Going to bed finally for some peace. Falling asleep finally after laying there thinking that my son was dead. Gone. Finally sleeping. Waking. The free floating anger at waking and having to face another day. Seeing his body on the floor and shuddering in the reality of his death. Struggling to push myself out of bed. Not wanting to get up… Life as Groundhog Day.