My grandfather is dying in the next room.
It's not going to be in the next few minutes, and probably not in the next few hours. But his time left can be measured in days - not weeks.
I've come home to say goodbye.
I've been crying almost nonstop since Monday. It took days before I turned to any of my friends to share what was going on. Even then, it was only short statements to let them know why I've been acting strangely.
This is partially (maybe mostly) my own fault. I really hate to feel as though I am manipulating others and go to great lengths not to sway people. I don't particularly like being the center of attention and I absolutely despise being coddled. I say I've done nothing but cry since Monday but my crying as been done out of sight. Ducking into empty rooms and around corners. I never intended for anyone to see me at all.
Yet when you spend most of your day crying so hard it physically hurts you, it exhausts you, what are you to think when not a soul notices?
I want to grab people by the shirt and shout in their faces. I want to shake them, curse at them, beat against their chests.
Can't they see I'm in pain?
Can't they see everything in me is being ripped apart?
I've been falling to pieces in front of their eyes and they aren't even seeing me. How can anyone be so blind? Who are you to mistake my false smiles for the real thing?
I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to run. I want to take everything I own, head for the hills and never look back. I want to not care because caring hurts too much to bear right now.
I want to wrap my arms around someone and cry until I just don't have anything left in me. I want to hear them say I'll be okay because right now I don't believe it. It doesn't feel like anything will ever be okay again.
But I can't do any of that.
Because I'm the strong one.
I'm the rock.
I'm the person you can always turn to when things go wrong.
I'm the one who drops everything and races cross-country so that you won't go through your own pain alone.
I'm not sure I know how to be anything else. I'm not sure I know how to accept people's good will. Sympathy actually makes me extremely uncomfortable. I don't know how to deal with it, I don't know how to be gracious about receiving help when the last thing I want is to talk about it.
I understand this isn't rational, it's pure emotion and makes no sense. Emotions so rarely do.
My pain is my own, guarded jealously from those who might wish to share it. I would never willingly place that burden on another. But is it too much to ask that someone see that I struggle and take on the burden without asking?
And why is it I can sit down and right all this to put on the internet for strangers to see, but I can't openly tell the people closest to me?