The Ugly

I’m flitting from one thing to the next and can’t land on one thing in particular.

I’ve been engulfed, smothered, and consumed by a grief that I didn’t know was possible.

i picked up the phone Saturday around noon and heard my mom’s voice, but it still feels like a dream.

“Kitty’s dead.”

I want to write but I don’t.  I want to cry but the tears won’t come.

Kitty was my friend and her life was one ginormous struggle.  We met on the school bus in the sixth grade.  We were different but very much the same.

The last time I saw her was last June at our high school reunion.  Kitty didn’t want to come, but I begged her and reluctantly she agreed.  Before that I had not seen Kitty since I visited her in rehab the year before.  She was doing so well.  Kitty and I talked on the phone at least twice a week.  Her aunt found her body early Saturday morning.  When I checked my phone, I had a missed call from her at 11:55 Friday night.

Kitty was brilliant and twisted and had the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met.  She felt deeper than most.  This made her special but it also made everything harder for her.

I knew she wasn’t doing well the last few weeks, but something forced me to keep a safe distance.  Maybe a part of me wanted some separation and I didn’t know how to make it better for her.  I told her this and she assured me that all she needed from me was to hear my voice.  She promised me that she was handling things and that she was going to be okay.  She was looking for a new therapist.  Gil and I had several conversations about Kitty.

“You can’t save the world, Viv.”

I know this is true, but something deep in me can’t help but wonder if I could have saved Kitty.

As heartbroken as I am, I can’t help but think that now she can have some peace.  In thirty-eight years I’m not sure she even knew what that was.

Zip and Ani spent Saturday night with us.  We had a cookout and invited several other friends over.

I forgot my kids’ Easter baskets.  My mom always forgot ours, too.  Well, this isn’t entirely true.  By the time we were old enough to know that she and my dad were the Easter bunny, she would make us stay in our rooms on Easter morning and we could hear her frantically slapping cellophane paper over our baskets.  Once she was finished, she would announce that we could come out.  Then we’d make a point to act all surprised and honestly this is one of my favorite family memories.

Fortunately I had picked up some plastic eggs and candy a few weeks ago, but I completely forgot to assemble them Saturday night.  I woke up Sunday morning to the sounds of Zip and Ani’s girls rummaging through their own baskets.  I checked my phone and saw that Ani had messaged me the night before from our guest room — Don’t forget the Easter baskets!

Well shit.

We made it work, but I could look at Piers and tell that he was disappointed.  Welcome to life, kid.

I’m working through my pain gradually, but Kitty’s death is making me question everything. I’m asking deep questions.

I’m also wondering why I’ve had to deal with so much fucking death in my short life.  It hurts like hell and I’m tired.  I’m certain gratitude is the answer.  I need to put on my big girl pants and force myself to look at how much I have to be thankful for.

Right now I just want to wallow.

After we somewhat assembled the crappy Easter baskets, we loaded everyone up and went to the beach.

The day was nice and we let the kids hunt Easter eggs around the dunes. Hopefully this made up for the crappy basket fiasco.  Piers seems to have recovered.

I drank Bloody Marys and lots of sangria.

I stared at the ocean and thought of Kitty.

10 thoughts on “The Ugly

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