The last time I had a night of calls like this I got see my guy afterwards.
I told him, “Tonight kicked my ass,”
“Get over here.”
I teared up while telling him I felt like I said all of the wrong things during my bereavement calls.
There are days when I can do twenty calls to people, who lost their person 4 weeks ago, and I feel like I’m knocking it out of the park. I feel like the Florence Fucking Nightingale of bereavement.
We call after 4 weeks because this is typically when their support system stops calling or checking in as often.
There are some nights, like tonight, when I sit down to do calls and I just hope no one picks up. There are some nights when I think, “I am too awkward for this.” There are some nights when I REALLY piss people off.
I walked into his apartment and he didn’t look up. It bothered me when my ex would do this. I think we should all be greeted with dinner and a boner—at the very least smile that I made it home to you. But, I decided I didn’t want to get into it so I let it go. I sat on the opposite couch, subtly pouting, waiting for attention. He finally looked up from his computer and made me sit on his lap. After I told him about my calls we talked about pyramid schemes and he placed my hand on his face so I’d scratch his beard. Then we screwed eachother’s brains out and I forgot all about how I really failed to show up for people a couple of hours before.
Tonight I can’t do that.
Tonight I make these calls in a space that I signed a commercial lease on. I signed a commercial lease because you do reckless things after someone breaks up with you.
Tonight I make these calls and then I have to go home to an empty apartment—no dinner or boners. Tonight, I’ll just read Mary Oliver. Mary Oliver, who had a loving partner for like 40 fucking years. You know it’s bad when you’re mad at Mary Oliver.
The calls mostly go like this:
“Are you taking care of yourself?”/ “Tell me about your support system.”
“Taking it a day at a time” / “Oh, just wonderful…”
Then I ask if they’re interested in our bereavement services.
Tonight, I wish there were bereavement calls made to people who have been broken up with. There are divorce support groups but are there any for people who have been broken up with by a social media influencer that is beloved by our city?
Are there support groups for people who signed commercial leases out of spite or an “I’ll show you, motherfucker,” kind of mood?
During one of my Florence-Nightingale-Nights, a woman who had just lost her husband said, “It’s just so…It’s just so…”
“Close to the surface,” I answered for her.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t drawing this conclusion from my experience with my dead person—I conjured this from my break-up because it's so fucking close to the surface.
I can’t hear his name, talk about cooking, walk by that house.
I’m not the first broken up with loser to make the comparison of death and break-ups.
But, I am only recently realizing that I am actually grieving. I am still grieving the loss of a life I thought I was going to have. I am in the middle of it. I can only take it a day at a time. There were days when I could only break it down to an hour at a time because I am grieving the loss of a version of myself that was wanted, safe and fucking satiated. I am more than 4 weeks out so people stop checking-in, because of course they do. And, that’s okay.
I’m in the point of my grieving that I have to move my feet alone. I’m at the point in my grieving when I get panic attacks and have to go to the woods to feel better — very Mary Fucking Oliver of me. The panic attacks come because I’m coming out of this different and I don’t know who that person is yet.
I was on fire when he met me and so was he. We burnt down fucking acres together in a short amount of time.
When someone says, “do you want to talk about it?” I always say no at first, because I will cry and you will be uncomfortable. I will be uncomfortable because shouldn’t I be over it by now? But, maybe you don’t get over things quickly after that kind of fire. Maye it takes longer when you have a poetry-filled type of heart.
The person I became after my dead-person died is someone who loves so big, so openly, because we’re almost out of time. I became a person who worships and throws her guts in when the collection plate comes around. I became a person who is looking for someone to keep up and I thought I found that.
Living like this is arguably reckless. Living like this makes it easier for life to dislocate your fucking knee caps. But who needs knee-caps as long as your hear-rate is up?
I can’t remember which poor sap had to listen to me one night but I remeber saying to someone on the phone, “I don’t ever want to do this again. I won’t make it out.”
Being a person is hard. Being a person who loves big and gross is harder—its riskier. There are more opportunities for someone to dissappoint you, someone to leave, someone to die.
It is all temporary. All of it. We can’t make any real promises to each-other and that’s fucking terrfying. We can’t make real vows because businesses, temptations, dreams, and pandemics get in the way.
We all deserve bereavement calls and if you continue to take communion at the church of dry-humping, tongue-kissing, and the willingness to be lit the fuck up — you’ll get them one day.
All we have is now—this shitty night—that perhaps wasn’t shitty but another way to keep my heart-pumping again — to put my skin back in the game.
On Sunday, I’ll come back out of the woods, having reached a point where I can only hear my breath and feel the heat in my cheeks.
I’ll get into my Subaru, turn on the AC and start to realize I made it out. I’ll start to cool down and remember I’m no fucking boy-scout but I can still start a fire.