I found myself unexpectedly enjoying the initial questionnaire about my reading habits that the bibliotherapist, Ella Berthoud, sent me. Nobody had ever asked me these questions before, even though reading fiction is and always has been essential to my life. I love to gorge on books over long breaks—I’ll pack more books than clothes, I told Berthoud. I confided my dirty little secret, which is that I don’t like buying or owning books, and always prefer to get them from the library (which, as I am a writer, does not bring me very good book-sales karma). In response to the question “What is preoccupying you at the moment?,” I was surprised by what I wanted to confess: I am worried about having no spiritual resources to shore myself up against the inevitable future grief of losing somebody I love, I wrote.
Last Thursday, Mr F woke up at midnight and didn't go back to sleep all night long. I had to sit downstairs with him to keep an eye on him so he didn't get into trouble wandering around the house in the middle of the night. When it hit 6 a.m. I got off the couch to go get ready to go to work, at the new job I started in January which is essentially a brand-new business that requires me to retrain a bunch of lawyers in my area of law, while also trying to build a business from scratch, something I did once before only to have incompetent people destroy it.
That day, Friday, I was going to court to sue a bank that had improperly and illegally tried to repossess our client's car, sending repo men to her house several times. She needs the car, of course, to get to and from work. Now it's my job to save her car, and if we win I get paid. When that hearing was over I had to sit in an hour-long traffic jam on my way to a meeting with some clients who are in danger of losing their house.
Yesterday, I had planned to start up my walking again. It's the only exercise I can really manage, with my asthma, and I haven't been able to do it in the last three weeks because I've had such trouble breathing. But after taking the boys to the free day at the Children's Museum -- we're reluctant to spend the regular admission at such places because if the boys get upset or scared right away (as Mr F did) then we might have to leave early, wasting the money -- I was too worn out to go walking.
I'd like to have the luxury of worrying about someday not being able to grieve properly. But I've got real worries.