Familia Jealousy

Familia Jealousy


7 days since death

I reached over to Cam and grabbed the TV remote from the nightstand. I had little space to move, squeezed in between all the kids. I clicked the remote, and the TV lit up the room. The show started.

There was no arguing or complaining about what to watch.

No comments.

No questions.

Just silence.

Two minutes into the show, I realized it was the first time we had watched it since Ariana died. What used to be one of the nightly shows that brought us together in laughter was now used to numb our minds. I watched the story unfold, doing my best to pay attention. Suddenly, my stomach convulsed. Fists formed. Jealously surfaced. There they were, a "complete" family running around my TV.

Mocking me.

Mocking us.

Showing us what we used to have and what our lives used to be.

And now, I was a family of four. My mind had yet to comprehend that fully. To truly understand what it meant to be no longer "Ariana and CJ." Who was I, what was I, after having half my soul ripped from me?

The night before, I sat around a table listening to stories told about Ariana through her friends' eyes. It was beautiful and bitter to hear who she was to them and the stories of the woman I once shared my life with. My face smiled, but my heart did not. I desperately wanted to laugh with Ariana again and let her know that I loved her one more time.

And so, the show carried on. The family made it through their adventure. The kids' eyes closed, and they fell asleep. I turned off the TV, tossed the remote out of the way, and shut my eyes. I replaced the jealous thoughts with anxious ones about finishing the Eulogy. I prayed my Muse would come quickly and that her words would pour into me. The funeral was three days away. I begged her to hold back my tears so I could read it uninterrupted.

Hour by hour, I was learning how to carry grief forward. I recognized that it might look different for me than for someone else, which was okay. I needed to stop placing judgments on my journey. It was my journey and mine alone. I had to accept whatever my path may be.