the haunted house ride

I’ve mourned deaths before, and often enough that I can forecast how I’m dealing with this: A few days of sifting and settling. Then I’ll sit down and write: about how Marzi lived in the world and in my world, about the recurring themes of her life, about prized memories (of which there are many and many), about how graceful her last few years were, about the last time I saw her, and the blessing of being happy, loved, and enjoying life right up to a peaceful passing.

The act of writing will uncork the crazed, wailing, red-eyed grief which is echoing around inside me. I know it’s in there and getting closer; I can hear the rattling getting louder. But until I sit down and make the conscious choice to dive back through my time with Marzi and put it down on paper, I’m relatively placid. More accurately, I’m still walking and talking and … waiting. (Most likely until I’m at home.)

The deja vu is the weirdest part. I can remember this same process when my grandfather died, and when my friend Lake died, and our childhood cat, and J. Peter, and every other time in my life I’ve had genuine mourning to do. It’s a little like getting onto the haunted house ride at a country fair. I know the basics of what’s going to happen – things will jump out at me, there’ll be loud noises, bumps and rushes and flashbulbs – but unlike the first time I grieved, I no longer have any doubts that the ride will have a finish where I get out of the car and walk on, carrying only the memory of it. That said, no matter how strong the confidence and the deja vu, they do not change the fact that I’m getting on the ride again, here at another age and another place.