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com·part·men·tal·ize v. To separate into distinct parts, categories, or compartments; to become or cause to become apart one from another. Synonyms: break, detach, disjoin, disjoint, disunite, divorce, part, split, separate

This is what I do. Break away. Detach. Separate, divorce, disunite myself from things that make me sad. I think about Mama, and I then distract myself – turn on the radio, call someone, look away from whatever triggered the thought. Or maybe nothing triggered the thought because the thoughts are always there in the back of my brain.

I passed Sullivan King Mortuary today. I pass it every day, twice a day. It’s a handsome building, with columns and flawless landscaping, and the occasional solemn hurst sitting out front. I don’t let myself think about Sullivan King when I pass it. Some days, I look away. Other days, I look at it detachedly, dispassionately. The days of cringing and fighting down the vomit are over… now I don’t feel.

Sometimes – a lot of the time these days – it seems like another life. I look back, into the compartment that was BEFORE, and it feels like I’m looking at someone else’s life. Tonight, I had dinner with a Lander friend. We chatted, we caught up. I told the story of Mama’s rediagnosis and death in a detached tone, like I was describing the loss of… I don’t know, maybe a favorite piece of jewelry, or maybe a friend who moved to another state. It’s just weird. I don’t even feel guilty anymore. I just don’t feel.

Sometimes, I look back into the BEFORE, and I wonder, again and again…. Is this really life now? Is this real?

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