It strikes me now how sparse the text is, how laden it is with unspoken pain, isolation, desolation and need.
Wrote this to one friend, punctuated with :( at the beginning and the end, as though the words themselves would not convey sadness:
"This is going to be my hard week. Besides all the work, it is the 4th anniversary of my sister going in the hospital, having the "catastrophic event" and then the agony of the hospital watch. I bought the books so I could have something easy to escape into. Perhaps the universe just wants me to sit with the grief. It is just going to be a hard week." [She had stopped by a park to see if a book I have misplaced had ended up in their little library. It was a silly book, something easy and mindless to read.]
I sent another friend this email: "I have to keep running after all the work ... and in between having little breakdowns because this week is the 4th anniversary of watching my sister die... ugh... compounded by the fact that every day brings us closer to the year anniversary of S's death. It is all one big trigger ...my neck is killing me and I am frequently on the edge of panic attack over seemingly silly things... oh PTSD is so real. Trauma I do not love you and don't know how to let you go..."
Hours later, this friend responded via text, not necessarily inviting conversation about the pain.
I responded thusly:
"It is interesting on the grief issue Each year is different. Last year I was dealing with other losses and then S and no room to process. So here I go again wondering if it will ever get better. ... I am not sure what better would look like. Honestly when the grief hits me I am utterly bereft. And other times I feel guilty or angry to be the survivor. And of course there are times I just want to crawl back into the convenient middle child role where I am not responsible for everyone's well being. Better would be to not have any of these overwhelming feelings. Perhaps to remember good times without the stabbing cruelty of loss bound to it."
I look at it now in black and white and wonder if either of them had any idea how hard it was for me to put those feelings into words. I wonder if they can feel the subtext and intertext that does not appear in black and white. There are precious few words there in those messages. Can they know how hard it is for me to talk about this at all? Does anyone have the capacity to read around someone's terse, cryptic messages?