She was ready for a shower. The day long. The time stressful. The mind muted.
What was that that Malcolm and Donaldbain said upon their father’s murder in Macbeth
Our tears are not yet brew’d/ Nor our strong sorrow/Upon the foot of motion.
Keep busy, and the emotion won’t get to you.
Shiva houses are busy places, especially when you’re not the mourner, but just the child of one. Chairs need to be rearranged, phones answered, messages taken and forwarded. Food needs to be organized, prepared, cleared. There is no time to mourn for the mourner’s child, there is too much to be done.
But now she was home. And she was tired. And with the slowing motions of the day, the sorrow crept up and tapped on her shoulder. One minute she told it. I’ll recognize and embrace you in a moment; I’m going to shower and there I will cave. I will let you envelop me, crush me, overwhelm me. But I will be alone, and the water will soothe and mingle with my tears, so it will be ok.
She was ready for a shower and stepped into the tub. She was eager to cry. Ready for the catharsis. But the water was cold. She turned the knob; it would turn no more. The water was warm, but too cold. She was back in camp where showers were often cold and pressure low, and movement had to be fast. But she couldn’t move. She was frozen. The tears stopped, and mind blocked. Survival mode was engaged, to just get clean and out of the shower fast.
But she wanted to cry. She needed to cry. Cry away from her kids and her husband looking on sympathetically, but powerless. Urgently she turning the knob though she knew it was futile. The water was cold. And then she cried. Not for her loss, not for her grandfather, not for the clenched fist around her heart. She cried that she couldn’t cry.
Bent over, dank clumps of hair matted her shoulders and she held herself and shivered. Tears fell, and her body shook. And she was cold. The water was cold. So cold. And she cried for her sorrow’s loss.