A Week of Mourning

Alan Rickman died today.

I’m hesitant to write this, I don’t want a permanent record of this feeling.  But I didn’t say a lot about Bowie and I feel like I let him down a little, so I’ll not repeat that mistake.


I’m not sure if this makes it better or worse

6:07 a.m.:  I’ve been sort of awake since 5:30 since that’s when our cat, Logan, is convinced we should be getting up.  So I’m mostly conscious when Tery checks her phone and gasps quietly.  “Oh god. I don’t want to tell you this.”  My blood runs cold.  Someone else has died. Someone worse than Bowie.  She turns the screen to face me, blinding me in the otherwise complete darkness.  I squint, and a second later my world crashes down.  But I don’t have any tears, not yet. I think I gave them all to David, and I’m relieved. But I can’t go back to sleep either.

6:14 a.m.: I peek at Facebook and the sympathy has already started rolling in. I announce my absence for the day because I don’t want hourly reminders stabbing at my heart (even well-meaning stabs).

6:58 a.m.: She kisses me goodbye. She’s very worried about me (because I’m taking it so well?)  I reassure her that I’ll be going to work like always.  She asks if I’ll go to work on the day she dies.  “Maybe,” I mumble from the pillow.  “If you do, I hope your first report is from (my worst doctor that I bitch about constantly), and your second report is from (my second worst doctor).”  You know you’re with the right person when they can make you laugh on one of the darkest days of your life.

7:02 a.m.: Alone in the quiet house, with nothing but my thoughts, the tears come. And they bring lots of friends.  I sob in my bed uncontrollably. My cats, who usually fight for a bit after Tery leaves, both come to me and press close against me on either side, like they do when I’m very sick, an unexpected truce.  (People who think cats don’t care about us haven’t properly won the affection of one.)  I eventually drop back to sleep because crying tires my eyes out.

8:48 a.m.:  I start work.  My first report is from my second worst doctor. Figures.

10:05 a.m.:  I text my friend “Fuck this week.”  She’ll understand. She’s also a fan. She asks if Windows 10 is still giving me trouble (and it really is ridiculously awful, if you haven’t tried it yet).  Oh god. She hasn’t heard.  Seconds later she’s up to speed even without my reply, and thank god the internet is plastered with the news; I couldn’t bear it if he disappeared with a whisper and no one cared (even if that’s also the reason I can only use my computer for work just now).  “For heaven’s sake, take the day off,” she urges.  “Take an hour.”  That’s a terrible idea. Work distracts me, protects me from my brain. And he’ll still be dead at the end of my shift.

12:03 p.m.:  Tery calls me from work, which she never does. I think she’s worried that I’m suicidal.  My father’s death didn’t make me so, and neither will this.  Staying off social media was a good idea though.  It’s mostly easy to avoid thinking about him, as long as I don’t make eye contact with the many Snape dolls, statuettes, and art prints that litter my work area.  Then I think how he never got a lifetime achievement award (from Hollywood, at least.  Fuck Hollywood) and start weeping again.

2:32 p.m.:  Lunchtime. The cats are fighting again, because even they know that life moves ever on.  I risk some articles, only to find it’s still much, much, much too soon.

5:11 p.m.:  I finish work and, in an effort to maintain some normalcy, I attempt my usual workout. But even physical activity only occupies half my brain, and I start writing this post while barely trying.  My friend D calls to commiserate, which would be more comforting if she had ever moved past Truly, Madly, Deeply (which she manages to drag every Rickman conversation around to). I give up on exercise. Then I speak to my sister, who has thought of me all day. With her and D, I vacillate between being okay and being less okay. It’s maddening, the way the sobs sneak up on you.

10:10 p.m.: Off to bed. I still don’t have the courage to look at anything on the internet. By this time on Monday, I was playing Bowie YouTube videos and fondly reminiscing, no longer dissolving. It’s going to take a great deal longer for this. I’ll sleep well tonight, my eyes are bloodshot and exhausted. Tomorrow will be better, and next week, and next month, because life moves ever on. Even if it’s suddenly become a lot less bright.



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