At the restaurant after Nana's funeral, Big/Only Brother and I were left alone, waiting for Mum to bring the car around. It was just the two of us and a waitress, hustling through trying to clean up the debris us grieving people had left behind. (PS: Grieving people apparently eat a lot.) He sat the wrong way in one of those restaurant booths, I was in my chair across from him, making the wheelchair rock the way I do when I am upset.
I asked how he was doing, he asked how I was doing. It was one of those times when it just seems as if the whole thing is too much. I was in so much physical pain, from pushing to be able to do all the things that were required of me, and so much emotional pain, that I could feel only relief that it was over. That there were no more "have to-s" on my list, even if only for that day.
He looked much the same, exhausted, crushed and confused. There were other things that happened then that I am not ready to talk about, but there was a moment when we were sitting there by ourselves that stands out so clearly in my mind. He asked me what I thought: "Do you think she's gone, that this is the end?"
And I told him: "I don't know. I don't know for sure if there's anything that comes next, and that bothers me deep down in my analytical, must know all the ins-and-outs of everything soul. It's one of those things I've studied to death. Back and forth and forth and back: religiously, psychologically, intuitively, factually.
And I've still come up with no answers.
But I know that it makes me feel better to believe that she's someplace else, someplace better. Buying Papa that drink and taking Maryellen to task for leaving without her. Watching over us and crying with us because we're so sad. And I don't care if that is just my subconscious trying to deceive me. If it wants to help me feel better, even just a little better, then I'm going to let it. What does it matter if it's true or not, if it feels true?"
He looked surprised, then laughed and gave me a kiss. We moved towards the door & mum's car and I asked him what he believed. And he said: "Up till a few minutes ago I had no idea."
Inspired by this post by Sweet & Salty.