My mother died last week, and I am discovering that grief serves as a type of anesthesia to chronic pain. It is there somewhere, just behind my temple – lurking. I can feel it there, and yet, I can’t. It is ephemeral, outlasted by the intense pain of loss, overwhelmed by the grief of one left behind.
In moments of clarity, when my hands no longer shake and my legs stand firm, I worry that I am not taking care of myself as I should, that I will pay for this later. I know that next week or the week after when I am finally home, and the truth of my loss has sunk in but there is nothing left to do except move on – no boxes left to pack, no phone calls left to make, no papers to file – my migraine will come rushing to the foreground with all the intensity of a coal-laden locomotive.
But, what can I do? It is not feasible to do anything but survive at this time.