I’ve been hiding. Eyes scrunched closed and covers over my head, I’ve been burrowing into the couch in an attempt to become invisible.  The pain finds me, though, so I try other methods.

Sleep is a fantastic way to escape.  Beer is another.  But it has to be good beer like the the amazing 60 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head or Harpoon, my old standby.  Flavor counts for me.  It’s not just about the buzz.

Food is definitely a refuge.  My bulging belly is proof that eating is one way we humans deal with sadness.  Extra butter on my sweet potatoes.  Ice cream before bed.  Bacon in any meal that I feel like because hey, fuck it, my son is dead so I can do whatever the hell I want.

Music is probably my most healthy way to hide.  The blasting music surrounds and protects me, but it also infiltrates and releases me.  Listening to music that speaks to my pain lets me stand out in the open covered in armor.  That others feel this and can put it to music validates my grief.  It’s like I’m hiding in plain sight, disguised by the truth of the lyrics and melodies, with the tune looping through my brain.  Music is often the catalyst that releases pent up tears that need to flow.

My work is the best and most consistent way I can hide from grief, though.  I can’t be depressed and lethargic when there is coffee to roast, bag and deliver.  I cannot just vanish.  My friends/co-workers are counting on me, and my customers need their beans.  I love strolling into a new coffee shop, telling them about us and then seeing their eyes light up when they taste how good it is.  Even when I want to spend all day in bed invisible to the world, the fact that I actually love my job always drags me to the shower.

I don’t hide all the time, but recently I have felt that impulse more and more.  I think it is the impending Spring.  I cannot help but think about way Lu’s belly grew and grew last March and how hopeful and happy and trusting we were.  Remembering that blissful joy and excited nervousness is so incredibly painful it makes me sick to my stomach.  I look into my past and stare dumbfounded at the fact that it is fixed and permanent.  There is nothing I can do to warn myself and no way to erase the blinding naivete I see there.

The sensation of last Spring is still inside me but when I touch it, when I allow myself to access the memory of those feelings,  I feel a need to puke.

So I don’t.  I hide.  Cheers!  Hit the lights on the way out.  And turn up the stereo.  Louder, please.

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