The Sunday Scribbling prompt this week was “disconnected”
I have thought a lot about how tragedy disconnects us from everyone.
Even though we may move through the world and there may be lots of people around, we are still set apart. We move through the day, doing the routine necessary things and it looks on the outside like we are still a part of the living, but we are not. We are just moving. We put one foot in front of the other. We answer questions. We put food in our mouths and chew and swallow. We smile and nod politely. We get up in the morning and we lay down to go to sleep at night. We can even function at work.
But inside we are disconnected from those around us. Even the ones who love us are on the outside. We are trapped in a mind-numbing, heart shut down, don’t think, can’t cry any more, it doesn’t do any good anyway, get over it already – can’t – won’t, scared, will I ever be human again, prison. No parole, no early release, and we didn’t even do the crime. We still have to do the time. We are disconnected as we grieve and each of us moves through it at our own pace. Sometimes we connect for a bit and then it hits again and we remember the walls around us. Little things happen or are said and they peel a layer of skin off and the pain comes back fresh and sharp.
The journey back is slow and we have to do it alone until we have healed enough to be able to stand the re-connection without it choking, slicing, aching, burning us to charred bits. We curl into ourselves with the pain and slowly we find ways to come back.
When we are on the outside we can only do what we can do, what we are allowed to do. We can watch, love, pray, give, hug, worry. We can’t walk the path for them. We can’t connect for them. We can’t shorten the trip one single step.
We can only let them know that we love them and that we are there and that we will not disappear and be ready when they can start to connect again.