When I need it most, my brain goes quiet. In the ugly radio silence and white noise, the ruined meat shudders and whimpers over all the collective thoughts I should have, should have had while I had the chance. As if I were suddenly rebooted into some safe mode without networking or the capacity to connect to my drives, I curl up, cut off from all possible methods of recovery.
Of course, I’m still talking and functioning. I still laugh and think about other things, still call my boifriend and have full conversations. But once I hit this trigger I shut down. I become useless. I refuse to call my best friend back and talk about the memorial arrangements.
And then this sick, awful part of me wonders why this hit me so much harder than my grandfather’s. Why is it my family's deaths are so normal for me but my friends' tear me up inside? Is it all the broken promises? Is it all the unfinished business? Is it that I know my family knows I love them unconditionally but maybe my friends felt less than cherished, less than cared for?
Because I don’t think he knew how much he meant to me. I don’t think he knew everything he did for me or how he shaped my life or brightened my day or saved my family. I don’t think he knew that he made such a huge impact on us, or how much we all loved him. How his laugh could make all the horrible things of the week run for the shadows, or how his crinkling eyes always reminded me of the kindness and wisdom I imagined in Dumbledore’s.
When I was a freshman in high school I was teased and told I didn’t belong in a certain group because I wasn’t smart enough. He was having trouble with a case and asked us for help finding a defense. I don’t think he really expected any help, but I piped up with a pretty solid way to get the warrant thrown out. It was a totally “Legally Blonde” moment, and it boosted my confidence by a million miles. He always had faith in me, even when I didn’t have faith in myself.
I’m going to miss that.