“Okay, everyone. Class? Take your seats. Quiet please! Alright then. Take out your book, Manual on Grieving and turn to page 115."Today we’ll be going over the first response to the news. What to say, how to move your body in the appropriate manner to convey the situation, and most importantly, how to feel. Yes, Ms. Bowers?”“Ma’am, will we be going over the near death state? I only ask because of my friend….”“Would that be the coming back from or wavering on the edge?”“The last one. Wavering.”“Not today, I’m afraid. However, if you’d like to stay a bit after class I can give you a few quick pointers.”
If only it were that easy. But there is no manual. No rules. And, really, not even the 5 steps. Each person does it differently and each situation is different yet again. Anyone who knows me well will tell you of my near phobic loathing of saying goodbye. Living or dead, I hate it. I hide from it.
A friend of over 25 years lies in a coma on a hospital bed receiving full life support. This well-loved lady is surrounded by family and a hoard of friends, myself included, waiting for the latest news on a brain scan.
The twisted part of me begins to compare it to Agatha Christie’s play “Ten Little Indians.” Who among us will be the next one picked off? How will it be done? Will the detective solve the case before the killer takes aim at me?
Then I chastise myself for making so light of the situation. It isn’t about me. It’s about her.
And then it turns back to me. What will life be like without the occasional breakfast chats we have? Or house hunting for fun? Or late night tears dripping into our wine? Well, MY wine actually.
But it isn’t about me.
Yes, it is.
And so on.
This is the part where I’d be searching the index of that manual. P…p…per… Perspective. Page 232.