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One Month Later

December 5, 2010

Yesterday I found myself all weepy and about to wallop my hairdresser.

Bad haircut?

No: it was after enduring an imaginary conversation with her. I hadn’t even arrived at my appointment yet; I hadn’t even left the house.

I was at home and putting on my coat when I started to imagine imagine her making comments about how long it had been since I’d made it in to get any hair maintenance done. She does this, and I know this about her, and I do not like this about her, though I do like certain things.

I have not been going every month, and it’s true, there was visual evidence of that. She’s friendly enough but even moreso than beauty, her business  is making money and trying to get people to spend more. If she brought it up, what would I say? I have had a lot going on. But if she is going to make me uncomfortable, perhaps I should say the thing that would make her uncomfortable.

I felt defensive and horrible. Before I even left the house I was in tears.

I admit, it was totally weird.

I started to wrack my brain for what and why would have provoked this reaction. Seemed like hormones, but that wasn’t it.

Ah. I realized. I was right at the one month anniversary of Beth’s death. I always thought of us as exactly 5 years apart, though now I realize that she was five years and six weeks older than me. And so she was 44 and I was 38 when she died, because she had just turned 44 and I hadn’t had a chance to turn 39 yet.

I arrived at the salon. Late. Even more defensive than I’d imagined. But it was fine. No comments. Good haircut.

I find that I am walking around normal a lot of the time, and then at others, poised to deck the one person who [does my hair right, or fill in the blank].

Trying to be nice to myself, though. And to others: no punches were thrown.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2010 6:54 am

    Oh baby. I have had so many imaginary conversations in which I try to be the one to pull the hardest punch. Totally weird, yet (at least for people like us?) totally normal. One thing about long illnesses is that they provide even more anniversaries than sudden terrible events. More opportunities to imagine hitting people and then not actually hit people. I guess this pugilistic response might fall under the “anger” part of grief (which we now know is not a thing you do in steps one after the other but more of a dance where you get to visit all the different parts over and over and in seemingly random order), but I always thought the anger would be directed more at God or some other force of nature. I am sure hairdressers already know how much of it is actually directed at them. I am sending you so many hugs.

  2. Karen permalink
    December 6, 2010 11:15 am

    Not weird. But also of course you don’t want this to be normal either. This is the part where, as April said, grief keeps confronting you in different ways and there isn’t an easy way to say you know what, I might need to punch [someone] and that has to be allowed space in my head. Feeling this way. It’s not easy, but it also has to be done.

    People I trust, at times like this, told me to keep breathing. That sounded silly until you think of how you breathe through things in yoga, and try to let the tension go and just be there. Like in yoga, you’re in a crazy position, and there IS tension, but you just try and breathe through it. Not that you’re trying to forget where you are, or how you feel. It’s (probably) better for you than the hitting. Big hugs.

  3. Alana permalink
    December 7, 2010 10:41 am

    I’ve been thinking about you. You are so strong with all of this. Henry is so lucky… even if organic cat food is for lunch (I’ve seen those old henna’d men — a ritual?). Thank you for trusting us and sharing.

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