Pfc Shane M. Reifert

Pfc Shane M. Reifert
Shane during a sweep of the Shuryak Valley, approximately 3 weeks before he was killed. Photo Credit: PFC Sean Stromback

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No One Tells You How Draining Death Is

Death is exhausting.

It's phone calls. Emails. Facebook. Text messages. Visitors. Opening cards. Paper cuts. Talking to reporters. Looking at pictures. Remembering. Forgetting. Worrying about forgetting. Lasagnas. Being asked questions I don't want to answer. Asking questions that don't have answers. Accidentally looking in mirrors. Not recognizing myself. Looking awful. Feeling guilty for caring what I look like. Not caring what I look like. Having too much gray hair. Watching clumps of my hair fall out. Realizing that I'm an only child. Shopping for clothing I will never wear again. Wearing RayBans indoors so no one can see my eyes. Making everyone in public uncomfortable by letting them see my eyes. Telling people thank you when I really want to say fuck off. Telling people that I will not have a good weekend because my brother is dead. Being happy that I've made people uncomfortable. More lasagnas. Refusing to smile. Faking a smile. Comforting others. Being strong. Not crying. Crying. Being comforted. Saying I'm okay when I'm really not. Trying to convince myself that I'm okay and failing. Turning music on. Turning music off. Making funeral home arrangements. Believing in God. Not believing in God. Driving to places I don't remember. Silence in the car. Screaming in the car. Being coddled and hating it. Being coddled and liking it. Saying things that aren't appropriate. Saying things that only Shane would have appreciated. Laughing. Feeling guilty for laughing. Feeling guilty for being alive. Feeling guilty for feeling. Feeling a type of pain I didn't know existed. Not feeling. Thinking I'm not capable of feeling. Wanting to vomit. Not being able to breathe. Wanting to crawl out of my skin and into someone else's. Pretending this never happened. Telling people I love them. Being told that people love me. Wondering what that means. Being told that Shane loved me. Knowing I won't love anyone more than I loved him. Trying to think of what Shane would have wanted. Not knowing what Shane would have wanted. Waiting for a body. Not knowing how my brother fucking died. Not knowing myself. Thinking this could still turn out to be some sort of nightmare. Wondering how all of this is going to end.