It’s 10:30pm and I’m in bed passing out while mindlessly scrolling though random instagram stories. The banner pops up and my watch vibrates. I’ve got a phone call.
I do the math. It’s 8:30 there. She goes to bed super early these days, this is probably an accidental dial. I should let it go. I’m so tired.
I answer anyway.
“I don’t know if you heard the news. Jennifer committed suicide”
Jennifer? My stepsister with three daughters and two grand babies? That doesn’t make sense. “What?”, I ask.
“Oh, Heather,” I reply. My stepmom’s side of the family is large and my mom doesn’t know it that well, and I can tell she isn’t in the clearest state of mind.
The call continues with what little news she knows and my reassurance to her crying pleas that I won’t do something like that and that I can always talk to her about anything and how bad my step mom must feel. We tell each other we love each other and hang up.
And now I’m alone in bed, an hour later writing this.
All the thoughts that went through my head with the news all seem selfish.
I just spent a lot of money flying out there two weeks ago. Shit, if it was today, it was on the two week anniversary of her mother’s passing. Was that on purpose? I don’t want to spend the money. I don’t even know if I have the money to spend to make it out there.
This means Matthew is the only one in that family left. He’s like twenty. This is going to fuck him up. I have no idea how to support him.
“Are you allowing your self to feel?”
My friend asked me that two weeks ago. My step sister just died. Then question made me cry. Today it’s a “no”. I look into my chest to see what I’m feeling. It feels fine. Normal.
Is it just not real yet? Am I only thinking how this death severs the connection just between me and her? Has my heart gone in lockdown mode to protect me from the deafening resonance of all the other connections severed? Am I just a defective person who can’t feel?
I felt two weeks ago. I felt last week. I felt Monday when there were some friends at the gym who I had to explain why I had a weekend trip to California.
I felt anger and sadness.
Now it’s nothing. I’m tired but I’m no longer sleepy.
If my feelings worked just a couple days ago, maybe they broke just now?
Maybe they will come in the morning.
How am I going to explain this at work? Sympathy is expended for one death, will I get pity for two?
I am afraid of the shame that pity brings and I’m ashamed that I can only think about myself at the moment.
I want to tell my friends. Some that still might be up at this late night, but am I just pushing my sadness on them?
I guess I should go to sleep. Who knows what the sun will bring in the morning.