It goes on like that, wonderfully written and manically acted, for a good long while. Just long enough that it stops being vibrant and scary, and just gets really sad and inert. Michelle realizes, just as you're starting to, that this activity itself is the telos, the always-becoming, never-being stasis of grief. There will always be more flowers and more musicians and more tents and chairs and things to be done. There will always be more talking. Fanny will talk until the world ends. The world has ended, already, of course, but this last chapter can be extended as long as she's standing.
Fanny wanders out, still talking, and Michelle braces herself for a moment against the steel door of the refrigerator, too full of Fanny's tumult to breathe. She closes her eyes. When she opens them, Truly has appeared with a casserole, looking hollowed.
Truly: "I blame you."
There are a million responses; a million things to say. Truly's feeling this at least as deeply as Fanny is, maybe more. Fanny's mourning a future that will never come, but Truly's still in mourning for a world that could never be. And of all the shames and bitterness, this is bitter: That Michelle is lost in this grief all around her, unable to move but unable to stand still, unable to grieve without feeling like a tourist and unable to speak without asking to be hit.
Michelle: "...I do too."
I will tell you a thing about grief. Or more properly about the dead, because I don't know a lot about grief. I have lost people but I haven't really grieved them. And for a long time I thought that said something about me: That either I was lacking something, or the people I lost weren't important enough to grieve, or our relationships were either so fraught or so complete that there was nothing left undone. I have felt like a tourist and even worse, like Michelle, I have felt like an indictment just for being there. Embarrassed for existing in the same location as someone else's grief.
What I've learned about that is that everybody feels like that. It's not a thing you can prepare for, or study up on, or learn about on the internet. It comes fast, and it comes slow, and it doesn't feel like you thought it would feel. It doesn't feel like anything you know; sometimes it doesn't feel like anything. But if you feel ashamed, if you measure the complexity of your response against the million other ways that people can respond, you can make it all about you real quick. Death is about the living, not the dead. Everybody is making it about them, all the time. But getting lost in the maze of thoughts-about-thoughts, feelings-about-feelings, is just a trick your head pulls on you because it doesn't know what else to do.