Friday, December 11, 2015

Techno Grief

Grief, like everything has also changed with technology. Technology issues were things that were never considered just a few years ago and not something I have heard anything about in all my reading and research – how technology makes it difficult to accept a loss because your loved one keeps turning up in texts, emails, voice mails, phone contact lists, Instagram photos, Youtube videos and worse still --old news feeds.

We really don’t realize on a surface level how deeply ingrained we are in the technology that permeates our lives today.  So much so until it, at times, seems to override reality. It never occurred to me how much our subconscious minds automatically believe what they see through our daily  blasts of technology because we are so conditioned to it.  One instance was when Siri asked me if I want to call Brian.  Now on a logical level I knew that wasn’t possible but for just a split second my conscious mind wanted so badly to believe she/it could until I found myself desperately wanting to try.  And like sometimes I find myself just looking up their phone numbers on my contact list as if seeing it there makes this somehow less true or not real even if it is just for a moment.  Or looking up old texts where even seeing their words typed on a screen makes me hear their voices because I was so used to being able to actually “hear” through their typed words, their inflections and their tone – like finding the silly comments Brian had left on my Shutterfly page and as I read them I could actually “hear” the mood he was in; the lightness, humor and sarcasm in his voice --making it feel like they are actually there on the other end of my computer, email or phone.  And for just a minute – it feels so good, so right and so normal.  It is a break from the sadness and a moment of “before”.   I even find that I look on other emails I’ve sent and I note the date as being before the loss and I grasp for the lightness that was in my own voice and hang on to that free easy innocence that I will never know again.  The voice I had and the person I was “before” when the most asinine things took priority in my life and I spent my days worrying over the lifelong battle with my weight, getting my hair to behave or the fact that my phone wouldn’t hold a charge; when the little petty annoyances of an everyday life were the things that dominated my thoughts.  Or things like fretting over who was and who was not going to come to Christmas or being aggravated at the fact that I had changed the day and time four times to try and fit everyone else’s schedule.  I look at those emails and mentally take myself back to that life before I knew catastrophic multiple loss when I believed God watched over all of my children, when I thought things that horrific only happened to other people.  And I can remember and take myself back to feel the very atmosphere of the "before". 

It seems my entire world is divided into two parts.  There was me before August 23, 2014 and there is me after August 23, 2014.  August 22, 2014 – hair mattered.  August 24, 2014 - life did not matter. June 3, 2014 - I was emailing an editor to see if they had accepted a story I had written.  September 23, 2014 – I am trying to survive one day at a time by writing out my pain, my frustration, my love, my grief and Brian’s story on this blog unconcerned with whether anyone else will ever even read it or not.  March 31, 2014 I was setting up a closing with a real estate attorney to close out the sale and put Brian and Kara’s house in their name.  February 12, 2015 I am emailing a foreclosure attorney setting up a date for the sale of that same house on the courthouse steps.   

There are other things too like the notification not long ago that was on my phone when someone had hacked an old email account and I got an email in my inbox that said it was from Kara – for just one moment I was so happy and just because it sat there in real time saying that it was from her, I had a moment of relief even joy and excitement although on a conscious level I knew better.   And strangely enough, it doesn’t even feel crazy to me???  Sounds crazy.  But it doesn't feel crazy. Not because nothing is crazy now but instead because everything is, if that makes any sense.   My life, my actions, my thought processes, my logic and my reality –everything seems so skewed until even the craziest stuff seems…well… normal.

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