The anger, exhaustion, and grief all bled into each other so much that they became one. As single, discernable entities I still felt in control. Together, however, they morphed into something undeniable and unstoppable.
My partner and I took a trip to my new school so that I could get a chance to meet some of my cohort and because we needed to figure out where we will live. I had been attempting to keep my dignity in the wake of my grandfather’s death, but I think I did a poor job of it. Regardless, when my partner’s brother asked a completely innocent question, I dissolved. My grief is so great that it has ripped out my tongue. The weight of this loss feels so complete and profound that I become embarrassed. My hopes are that it is easier to hide the melodrama of my emotion because I have been nearly unable to talk about it except to those closest to me.
Reader, I have nothing to say about my grandfather (or my mom or dad for that matter), because there are simply no words. I don’t even try to encapsulate him in judgments or descriptors because he is more. If I tried very hard I could come up with some words to describe something like his smile or his hair, but they are only words. They aren’t even close to being him.
However, I love the words others give to him. I feel the loss so acutely when someone tells me why they love him, but the loss is filled in a little by their kind words. In this way, condolences and remembrances are not quite a panacea, but at the very least they provide a soothing balm.
III. Exhaustion & Anger
Here’s a privileged thought: travel is exhausting. With no Levinasian home, weighed down by grief, I found enjoyment that was so diminished and superficial as to almost not exist—all while attempting to resist totality. I thought that I had left behind everyone who insists on telling me about myself and invalidating my experience while demanding attention and affection.
As my granny used to say, “That’s what you get for thinking!”
Where I go next will require more strength and compassion that I thought I would be capable of, but now I know I am capable and more. I am teaching myself to act after so many years of passivity. I was waiting for my life to come to me. What a silly, privileged thing for a person to do!
But now I see.
Lately, I’m beginning to feel superhuman. The more theory I read, the easier it is to understand it all. The more sadness I feel, the more generous I become. The more I give, the more effortless it becomes to establish boundaries. The more I let go, the sharper, more brilliant, more abundant are my returns.
I’m telling you this in case you didn’t know: You are superhuman, too.