Why are the curtains closed?
My personal journey of grief…
I have just woken up. I go downstairs to get my breakfast. As I get to the bottom of the stairs I notice that the curtains are closed. I wonder why. Did my parents forget?
As I enter the living room I see mum sat on the sofa leaning forward with her head resting in both her hands. I think she is crying. Dad is stood next to her, his hand resting gently on her shoulder. I think they’ve had an argument.
But why are the curtains closed? I want to ask but something feels wrong and I don’t know what.
I go into the kitchen to make my breakfast. Two Weetabix, lots of milk and way too much sugar… just the way I love it. Why are the curtains closed? I’m confused. Curtains closed. Parents have argued. Something feels wrong but why are the curtains closed?
I go back into the living room and ask cautiously ‘Why are the curtains closed?’ I’m not sure what the answer will be. Dad looks over to me and says in a very soft and quiet voice ‘Nan died last night.’
I freeze. Time stands still. The walls of my mind start crashing inwards. My eyes are starting to sting. Myyy naaaannnn issss deeeee……. I can’t think it… I have to eat my breakfast… why are the curtains closed… I can’t move… I am frozen… the world is frozen… I have to eat my breakfast… why are the curtains closed!!!
I go upstairs to my bedroom and sit on the edge of my bed. I have no idea how I got upstairs. One minute I am downstairs with my breakfast in my hands and the next I am on the edge of my bed with my breakfast in my hands. I take my spoon and scoop up some Weetabix. I try to eat it but I can’t get the spoon to my mouth. I notice tears falling from my face, dripping into the milk. I can’t stop crying. Why are the curtains closed?
Dad comes in and sits next to me. He puts an arm around me and I pull away. He gets up and leaves. My brain is stuck. I cannot think. I can only feel pain… so much pain… oh my god there is so much pain.
My heart is breaking into a million pieces. I cannot bear this much pain. It consumes me. It fills every atom in my body and mind. I feel nothing but unbearable, all-consuming, suffocating pain. My world is frozen in time and all that exists is pain…
… I remember nothing after that. I don’t remember eating my breakfast. I don’t remember leaving my bedroom. I have no memory of the rest of the day, week or year. My next memory is funeral day. I was not allowed to go. I stayed with my cousin that night. I remember crying.
I remember crying for years…. And I remember the pain… Oh my god… so much pain. And I remember the curtains. I wish I didn’t remember the curtains. I wish I never asked ‘Why are the curtains closed?’
Gary Lloyd aged 11 (remembered by Gary Lloyd aged 42)
© Gary Lloyd
Remembering Grief by Gary Lloyd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.