The screaming

8_11_11.jpgIt started when the policeman told me he was dead.

I was still sitting in my car in my parent’s driveway at the time.

It was loud.

It was hysterical.

It was guttural.

It was primal.

It continued as I was led inside the house, up the stairs.

It went on for a long time before I wore myself out.

It stopped long enough to listen to the police and the chaplain and my parents as I tried to think what to do next.

To search their faces for the next sentence “Oh sorry, we made a mistake. He’s not dead. He’s in the hospital waiting for you”.

It stopped long enough for me to leave a message on the answering machine of my best friend because I could not get a hold of a single other family member or friend to tell them.

To sob this news to them. 

But that’s when the screaming started inside my head. 

I spoke calmly to people on the phone. They swore at me with shock when they heard the news: I was the calm one. 

Outwardly. 

But inwardly, I was screaming “He’s Dead. DEAD. DEAD......”. 

It didn’t stop while I was talking to those other people. 
It didn’t stop when I sipped water to sooth my ruined throat. 
It didn’t stop when I showered. 
It didn’t stop when I stared at the food people kept putting in front of me, only to take it away again hours later after it was cold. 

And it didn’t stop while I slept. 

I screamed aloud in my sleep.

It rang in my ears for most of the first 6 months.

It screeched in the background to all my thoughts; sometimes loud, sometimes whispered. 

That desperate, aching cry “he’s DEAD!" 

Now, it lurks inside, waiting for my brain to think too hard about it, just for a minute. 

For the most part, I’m learning to ignore it, but sometimes it screeches into the forefront of my mind with alarming speed. 

And once more I crumple under the weight of the screaming. 

The endless internal screaming in my head.


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