Am I grieving right?

It’s been over twenty years since someone close to me died. My grandmother and step-grandfather both were killed in a traffic accident with an 18-wheeler. They were on the way home from my grandmother’s 80th birthday party. That was in the 80s. Since then, there have been numerous close calls with my brothers, and the loss of beloved pets. But nothing like this, and I’m not sure how to do it.

Tuesday night, after I’d gotten the news that my brother had died over the weekend, I thought I wanted a stiff belt. Well, not a stiff belt, but maybe a glass of wine. Was it okay to have a glass of wine? Should I open a good bottle, or an “every day” bottle? My brother is was an alcoholic. Should I be having wine at all? I ended up opening a good bottle, having a glass, and letting the rest go bad.

Yesterday I tried to work from home. My brain wasn’t having it. I couldn’t focus for more than five minutes at a time. So I gave up and went and got a pedicure. But should I have gotten a pedicure? Who gets a pedicure when their brother’s just died? My toes are now a lovely deep shade of purple. Mardi Gras purple. Why did I get purple? Shouldn’t I have gotten something more somber? Why did I get a pedicure at all?

Last night my girlfriend got me out of the house for sushi. Should I be going out for sushi? Why not stay home and eat soup? Instead I had sushi, and Kirin beer, and a few shots of sake. And I only teared up once at the sushi bar. What is wrong with me? Why am I going out for sushi at a time like this? How am I able to go out for sushi at a time like this?

I slept well last night for the first time this week. Why did I sleep through the night? Does it mean I don’t care enough? Shouldn’t I be tossing and turning?

Maybe I should cry more. I keep trying to work. Maybe I should stop and just cry.

Remember the time I found his pot stash behind his stack of albums in his bedroom? “Please don’t tell mom. You can listen to my records any time you want from here on out, if you just don’t tell mom.” Sounded like an excellent deal to me. It was the genesis of my love for The Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix, The Doors, The Faces, Stevie Wonder, The Allman Brothers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Steppenwolf, Cream, Crosby, Stills & Nash. And the list goes on. (But not the beat. There was no Sonny & Cher in his collection.)

Yeah, that one bag of pot paid off in spades.

Ah, another wave just rolled over me. Odd how it comes in waves.


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