Page 21 reveals a familiar tune:
Just as the body has a physiological immune system, the brain has a psychological immune system. When something goes wrong, we instinctively marshal defense mechanisms. We see
silver linings in clouds. We add sugar and water to lemons. We start clinging to cliches.
I remember early after Adam's death, comforting myself with thoughts of being lucky to have had him 27 years, that everyone was able to get there for the service, that the arrangements fell into place so easily, that he wasn't living at home, so I was spared the daily void of him being gone and horror of finding him. Like my sister said, we could just kind of pretend he was "working" when the holidays or family get togethers came around. Cliches, or at least grief memes kept me going, knowing that others had gone through this, and understood how it felt.
I will add more as I work thought this book. I have a feeling it will be slow, because I can only handle so much heaviness at a time.
As I was thinking more about the gratitude I had in wake of Adam's death, as strange as it sounds, I was comforted that he had not been killed by a drunk driver, in a terrorist attack, or a random murder, because that would be even more senseless and would have left me angry and possibly bitter. As tragic and devastating as suicide is, it was something Adam chose to do. However impaired he was, I understand it on some level and suspect he had wanted it for some time. A random death would be even more unfair in my mind.
I can thank Adam for making me acutely aware of my mortality so that I feel an urgency to make the most of the time I do have on earth. I have heeded advice not to make large changes in early grief, but sometimes this feels like I have simply returned to baseline, and complacency with the status quo. I can teeter back and forth on this tightrope,