My aunt Meda died and I felt nothing. I was completely numb. Probably shell shocked, to be honest. I flew to New Jersey to be with her widow — aunt Maren — and my grandma, who lived with them at the time. I tried to help around the house, feeling nothing more than a dull ache that seemed wrong for the situation. I thought I was a sociopath, the pain not substantial enough for the tragedy.
The hurt hit me like a tidal wave when I stood in the TGI Fridays bar where Meda worked. I was helping to prepare the celebration of life when the realization set in that I would never see my fun, erratic, loving aunt again. The woman who welcomed her wife’s weird niece into her home for the summer months. The woman who loved pugs more than anything. The woman who was called “sir” at drive-throughs on multiple occasions when lowering her voice to try to sound cooler.
I cried when I heard Adele’s 21 for the first time after she died, knowing Meda had cultivated my love for the album.
Grief is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad time.