The same black dress

 

I didn’t think yesterday would hurt as much as it did.

But it’s still so soon. It seems like only a fortnight ago we had the whole family round for my Dad, and now this.

I woke up in the morning with a huge knot in my stomach. With gritted teeth,Β I put the same black dress on I had worn last summer. I painted on war paint. Heavy makeup so I couldn’t cry. Nothing could pass through my mascara. Like filling a hole. Like glueing my insides shut. Nothing would get in, nothing could seep out.

I got in the car.

I told Jim that I wasn’t going to cry. I was determined for this not to get under my skin. Not to reach me. I would build a wall where no emotion could pass. Self preservation at it’s finest. I didn’t take tissues in with me. I didn’t need them.

I sat through the Crematorium part of the ceremony. I was in a daze. My mind kept drifting away. I wasn’t concentrating on the words or what was in front of me. Like it wasn’t really happening. I stood up and walked away. I gave no-one eye contact. I refused to let them in.

I kept moving, flitting from one group to the next. Avoiding small talk, questions and conversation without looking alone. All a tactical ploy. All part of the plan. I swerved conversation to happy things and I dodged the curve balls.

It was working. My mascara hadn’t moved. I felt in control. Now onto the church.

I opened the order of service.

It hit me.

The same song. The same song as last summer. Sitting right there. How could I possibly sing that? How could I hear others sing that? I flicked through the pages to find other songs repeated. How could I get through this? I felt like I had been set up.

I decided I wouldn’t sing. I would stand crossed armed and closed mouthed. I would let the words pass over my head and then sit back down. no one would even know.

The organ introduced the first few chords.

My throat felt like it was going to burst. A single tear leaked onto my right cheek. I didn’t wipe it away. I just felt it trickle down my skin.

But then more started seeping out. This time from both eyes. I closed them shut and leaned into Jim. I felt my shoulders shaking and my fists tighten.

I lost it.

I cried more than I had since my Dad was diagnosed fifteen months ago.

All of my anger and sadness and confusion and frustration poured out of my body.

My sister passed me her tissue.

Why was I crying? I was so angry at myself. I wanted to be strong. I thought I could do it.

 

My eyes kept leaking right into the evening.

I was a mess.

Over nothing and over what happened then and now and everything.

I couldn’t even put into words why I was so overwhelmingly sad. Only that everything I had been holding in all this time was bubbling up and I couldn’t stop it.

 

 

It was lovely though. The day. Everyone being together.

 

I finally got home, slipped off my black dress.

And went to sleep.

 

I am feeling more myself today. I think I still have more to let out.

But that can wait for another day.

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