Monday, November 29, 2010

Running for Biggie

On Thanksgiving morning, we rose bright and early, and before we peeled potatoes or crushed pecans, we pulled on our running shoes, drove to Mount Prospect and ran the Turkey Trot, in honor of our beloved Biggie.  Mom and Amy battled the rain to cheer us on.

The last few weeks I have felt powerless, to say the least. The week leading up to the funeral was intense, but in a way, also enjoyable, because it felt like it prolonged our time with Biggie. The pain was searing, but most of the time, my brain couldn't even process what had happened. And then before I knew it, we were singing, then I was giving a reading, then standing in the rain, then eating pizza. And then, it was over.

The next week was overwhelming. I was filled with despair, and deep, deep sadness, for myself, for my family, and most of all for Biggie. I wanted to be with Dad and Deb. The rest of the world, even my own home, felt so distant from the new reality. I wanted to undo things, whatever it took. I sat at my computer, in the class I was in when I got the call, and it seemed so unfathomable that that had really happened, and seemed so near that it felt like it should easily be undone.

Then next week the clouds began to clear. The pain and sadness were just as searing, but I started to feel like me again. And I found sadness in that, too. I wanted to stay crushed to the ground, to be unable to rally, overcome for another day. I don't want him farther away.

At this point, I've seen most of my coworkers, friends and family who know what has happened, and already faced their kind words and cringing faces. Now a lot of them want to proceed like we live in the same world we did three weeks ago, whereas my heart wants to start every conversation with "He is still gone. He was cheated, and we are all cheated, but not as much as he is cheated" and silence all conversations, my own included with "You are alive. Suck it up, get over it. Time to live."

Other people don't know what has happened, and I don't know if its appropriate to tell them. It does not matter to them, but it hurts not to say hey, do you know what we've all lost?  When people ask me how I am, I wrack my brain as to whether they know and are really asking, or if they mean it just in passing.

I feel like a drama queen. I know my pain is nothing compared to his mom's, our dad's, his sisters', his friends'. But this is who I am. I am so sad for him, and mourn the loss of the Biggie I knew and the Biggie I was to come to know over the next four or five or six decades.

So what do you do in this situation? I have to go to work, I need to finish school, I've got stuff on my plate. I want to lie in bed wailing in honor of him, but what a waste; good for no one. So, on Thanksgiving morning, we donned our newly made t-shirts -- rip offs of a Sex Pistols single cover -- and ran in honor of Biggie. My heart pounded in my chest for that time not with sadness, but with exertion and life. I thought about Biggie; I engaged in an activity with my sisters.

In the past I did not understand doing this or that in memory of a person, but I get it now. There's not much you can do in a situation like this.  This is something you CAN do, and all I want, so desperately, is do something, anything, that keeps him here and remembered, and pulls people closer, in any way.


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