Ch.220 Please Worry Just a Little
There is a special look reserved for people talking to someone in mourning: closely attentive with sad but searching eyes. This look’s verbal translation is something like “I feel so sad for you, and I’m worried about you too. I’m checking to see if you’re falling apart.”
Early on, I greatly appreciated that look, which I received from my children, siblings, friends, even casual associates. I needed to know that they were there. As Allison Krause sings in one of her ballads (“You say it best when you say nothing at all”) I know you will be there for me “if ever I fall.” I’ve noticed, too, that this look has gradations. As I’ve gradually recovered from the shock of losing Pat people still are sad and attentive, but only if we are speaking about Pat and with less intensity than before. Now it’s less like they are immediately ready to catch me when I fall and more on standby duty.
My three brothers, their wives and I share a monthly zoom “brothers” session. We met last week when I happened to be feeling particularly positive and robust. I decided I could let them know they didn’t need to worry about me anymore, that I no longer needed their mourning watchfulness. I told my siblings that I know they’ve been worried about me a lot and that I was doing much better now, so they didn’t need to worry about me any longer.
But then I thought about what I’d just said and decided to backtrack. “You can still worry about me a little,” I told them. I admit that I still stumble from time to time as I learn how to live life as a single person. I might fall, albeit more like from a first-floor balcony than the top of a skyscraper. I’m grateful that I have many caring people in my life ready with a net.