My divorce from normal life happened right after Charles’s suicide.
I would walk through the grocery store, Lowe’s, or the drug store and no one looked at me or noticed me even if I was crying. My grief had transformed me into background noise. I wandered about in my own dimension for some time.
A little over two years after the death of my son, I got off a plane and walked up the boarding bridge into the airport. I can’t remember now where I’d been but I had arrived back into Richmond, VA.
When I walked through the door, people turned and looked at me as if I’d returned from a sabbatical spent in a cave in Peru. I had been a dull, sepia-toned photo that had suddenly burst into color and people snapped to attention.
I advanced to the middle of the walkway as people raced to their next flight. People said, “Hello,” and “Excuse me.” I hadn’t heard that in a while. Had I only been hovering on the sidelines for the past couple of years?
Marveling at having become visible again, people streamed on either side of me like I was a rock in a river. I wondered then how and when I waltzed back into life. Had it really happened just moments ago or had it happened sooner and I didn’t notice?
I had gotten back on the train I’d been watching whiz by for the last couple of years. The loss had changed me but I had learned to live beside my grief and we’d finally found harmony together. Healing had happened.