We’ve all seen the words that accompany clickbait articles on our social media feed.it.

The words that tell us how much of our precious time will be spent reading the article, if we click. At first I didn’t think much of it. When they started appearing, it was something I barely noticed to be honest. Then i started to see it more and more often.

Two Minute Read.

Four Minute Read.

Three. Five. One. Seven.

Have we really become so busy, so lacking in time and energy, that we aren’t willing to commit to something that grabs our interest unless we have a promise of how much of our time we will need to invest in it before we even start? Are we really at the point where we have to choose so carefully how we ration out our energy and time?

When did we become so habituated to living frenetic, rushed lives that we can’t even click on an article without being able to decide whether it’s worth our time based on how much of that time it will take? When did this pace of exhaustion and burnout become normal?  How have we evolved to a culture that makes us feel like we are not doing enough until we are doing too much?

How many of us will admit to half-reading the article while looking at the page to find where the end is? Mentally and intellectually moving on to the next attention needing task before we are done with the one we should be focusing on; the one right in front of us. What happens is that each thing that is in our field of vision, either literally or metaphorically, ends up being short-changed. Whether it’s the fluffy article, the science journal or the partner sitting next to us as we nod and don’t really listen to the conversation.

Maybe the most important question though isn’t thew how or why are we like this, but rather, why are so many of us okay with it?

The answer that gets bantered about is that we just simply don’t have the disposable time and energy anymore to “waste” it. That our energy and time is so stretched to the limit that we have to be acutely conscious of how we spend it. Every single minute of it. It’s a simple explanation and one that makes sense. It’s also an explanation that begs the question of why are we not more concerned with trying to change that than we are with how long that article will take us to skim through.

There are books aplenty about grief and loss and how to process. Essays upon essays that muse on feelings and actions and how to navigate the waves. How to learn to surf and not drown in them when someone you love is gone.

 

Beautiful prose and poetry is written about the pain and hurt and eventual sunrise at the end of it all when you accept it and see the truth that the days do indeed keep coming.

 

But no one talks about the messy parts. The gallows humour parts. The parts when you just have to laugh and cry at the ridiculousness that is real life in the middle of the disaster of loving the dead while you exist in the midst of the living.

 

No one talks about the moments that make you cringe while you’re shaking your head and thinking “why didn’t anyone tell me about THIS!’”

 

No one talks about how you will do your grocery shopping at 11:30pm, just before the store closes, so that you can avoid having to come face to face with all the people who know.

 

No one tells you how to answer the casual question of “what’s he doing after grad?” from someone who hasn’t heard that he died 6 months ago. No one tells you that you will simply lie, saying “ he’s doing great” to avoid having to explain it – again.

 

No one tells you how much you will come to hate seeing people who don’t know. Even more than you may come to hate seeing people who do.

 

No one tells you how to cancel plans, made three days before your person died. No one tells you that you will leave a movie theatre 10 minutes into the movie to send a text to the friend you forgot you made plans with for that evening. Plans made three days ago. Before. No one tells you that you’ll stand there in the lobby, holding your phone and trying to figure out how to say that you can’t make it to dinner because your son is dead and you’re watching a mindless movie with your other kids trying to do anything that makes your mind stop screaming. No one tells you that you will ever send a text saying “I can’t make dinner because my son died.” No one tells you that you will not care how rude that sounds.

 

No one tells you that you will laugh out loud when you ask your other kids what they want to do that evening, two days later, to try to pass the time and one of them says “I don’t know, just hang around? Oh, sorry, bad wording.”. No one tells you that you will laugh because the reality of his bad wording speaks to a reality that is simply unbelievable and surreal.

 

No one tells you that you will start to wonder if you have lost your mind.

 

No one tells you that you will be so angry at the funeral when someone asks why you are letting his friends see him – in an open casket – because, “don’t you know it might upset them?” Them. No one tells you that you will be alright with the fact that you don’t care who is upset.

 

No one tells you that you will look back a month later and have no idea how you’re younger child got fed and taken to school and cared for when you can’t remember doing any of it.

 

No one tells you that you will drive yourself to the morgue in city rush hour and home again and be surprised when someone asks you how you managed it – and why didn’t you ask someone to drive you! It won’t occur to you that you shouldn’t have been able to do something as normal as driving because you did it. And you don’t remember even getting in the car.

 

No one tells you about how hilarious you find it when you buckle the seatbelt around the container holding your son’s ashes in the passenger seat after it goes flying onto the floorboards when you take a hard turn out of the crematorium’s parking lot.

 

No one tells you how sad you will be on the day when, years later, you take out his shirt that you kept because it smelled like him  – and it doesn’t smell like him anymore.

 

No one tells you.

grief doesn’t merely sit.

it resides,

it burrows,

nests,

settles in,

envelopes.

 

heavy,

weighted,

ever-present,

suffocating my

lightness of being

that it has replaced.

 

once a raw

shocking stranger,

now,

a reluctantly

accepted

companion.

 

always present.

constant.

a part of,

yet no longer,

all of

my being.

 

After a long labour of love – and more work than I knew I was getting myself into – the ebook of my collection of my poetry, Connect The Dots, is finally done and ready online!

Come along on a journey of life in poetry and prose. The highs, the lows and the spaces in between. Dive into what drives us, draws us and makes us tick.

Connect….The…. Dots…. is an immersive experience of words that explore and evoke.

Check it out anywhere you find ebooks 😉

 

Connect The Dots Cover