Since Beau died, people regularly ask how I am doing. It’s a good question, and one that I would like to answer, but I have no idea how I feel. The truth may be, and I haven’t figured this out until now, that I feel dead too.
In some ways my grief feels like Alzheimer’s disease. I can move but I can’t think. I can’t remember what people just told me. I can’t really hold a thought in my head. I can’t follow the story line in a simple Hallmark movie. I’m so numb that I can’t even cry.
I almost feel like I am ready to move to Juniper Memory Care and take my father’s old room. But as the next Bercaw up to bat for AD, there will be plenty of time for that.
The question now is how do I get back to the world of the living? I know the answer is time, and friends and family. To live with curiosity about all things, just as Beau did. To expand my son’s mind, as my father did to mine. But for now, time will have to wait. Or pass. Because I’m stuck in a moment. A moment between having a dad and not having one. A DMZ between him and me, then and now.
What I am saying might sound scary, but it’s not. I think it’s a safe space in the way that demilitarized zones are intended. I’ll keep moving in space and time, and eventually my brain will catch up with the rest of my body.
“Funny how things turn out,” was one of the last things my father said to me. And it is funny to me that my brain feels like the one in a jar now.