I had been listening to Adele for a week.
This is not a bad thing to admit. I had been concentrating and I find mellow music helps me concentrate.
I sat for hours attempting to put my desire to go to law school in to words. I procrastinated. I pinned. I facebooked. I tweeted. I didn’t want to do it. I was caught between “I-want-to-do-this” and “this-is-too-hard.” I find myself in this situation more often than not. Maybe I reach too high. Maybe I just don’t know how to work hard for the things I want
I polished off the essay and read over it again and again until my eyes were so full of tears I couldn’t see the page. My chest grew tight like weights were pressing down on it. I put my hand over my heart. This is a reflex. I do it when I feel like I’m about to hurt. I do it in church when the Word gets to me. I do it when someone talks about something that’s painful. I did it seven months ago when I heard words come out of my husband’s mouth I never want to hear again. Words that were repeated from a phone conversation.
I gasped for air and brushed away tears with my free hand. Fragments started to pass through my mind.
I will not call him and read him the letter.
He will not know what I’m doing.
He will not see me graduate from law school.
He will not see me practicing.
He will not know his grandchildren.
He is gone.
I sit until I can breathe again. I put on a brave face and busy myself with other things. I can’t think about this right now.
I listen to Neil Young. A song he and I used to sing back and forth to each other. He would sit in the car and say “I’m getting old.”
I replied: “It keeps me searching for a heart of gold.”
Of all of the music we listened to over the course of my life. This song has to hurt. Not the songs we stood in concerts next to each other and sang, not the songs he played on the guitar for my sister and me. Not music he sang in church.
One stupid song.
By an artist we didn’t even really like.
I listened to this song over and over again. I drove down a back road to get to work and whispered over and over “I miss my dad.” I sat at work and thought about what I was going to do as soon as I got out. I walked to my car at quitting time and cranked up the music. I listened to that song over again.
And then I shut it off.
I don’t have time for you right now grief. I am applying to law school and that is the second hardest thing I have ever done. I don’t have time to think about the hardest thing I have ever done right now. I promise sometime in the future we will have a date where I will sit and give you my full attention. I just can’t deal with you right now. There are other things that need my attention.
I spoke to my grief like that. In my no-nonsense way that I have when I’m arguing my case. I told it like it is.
Grief didn’t listen.