Sunday, September 13, 2009

Catching up, Part II

Only one post in a month and a half.

This grieving stuff is not for sissies, that is for sure. So much has gone through my mind, so many thoughts and feelings and realizations, that it seems too much to post. Perhaps it is too personal. I feel extraordinarily vulnerable. After all, if Mom could die, I can too, or Taciturn or Only Son or my grandchildren. I read an article in the NY Times yesterday about allowing children to walk alone anywhere. That put me into a crying panic thinking about my blond, lovely 7 year old granddaughter who strolls around her neighborhood at will and what would happen to her and to us if someone snatched her off the street? Normally I don't react like that to newspaper articles.

Besides being vulnerable, I feel at times blank and empty. The emptiness cries to be filled, so I'm eating with gusto. My frame remained trim for a long time after the sojourn at WW. But in just under six weeks, I've put on ten pounds! It was embarrassing to go to lunch with a friend and to be so busy stuffing my face that I could not talk with her. I was mortified but still I kept shoveling it in as if my very life depended on it. I apologized profusely for the sin of gluttony. She was great about it. Unfortunately, that scene has been repeated many time in private.

Lots of stuff. Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy; after all, almost everyone my age has lost a parent and they all can still function! I remind myself I only see what is presented to the public. When I confess in conversation what has happened, I find that those who have lost a parent are wonderful. At coffee hour today, for example, a woman burst into tears when I mentioned Mom had died; we were just talking about how we spent our summers. She told me later in the conversation that she was a wreck for a full year after her mother died, so I should be gentler with myself. After all, this is a fresh, new wound.

I appreciated that. And I appreciate that no one is telling me to have more faith in God, pray more, etc. One of my friends gave me a booklet called Good Grief that was written for Christians who are struggling with loss. On of the problems the writer discusses is the idea that Christians are to rejoice always, so it is tempting to feel guilt over feeling grief. He points out that even Jesus grieved.

Dad and I chat on the phone once a week, especially now that everyone has gone back to school/work/daycare and he is alone most of the day. He seems to be doing as well as can be expected.

Although I'm not blogging, I am doing my morning pages almost every day. Since no one sees them but me, I can pour out what needs to be. It helps. I'm also on Facebook, but I find I'm wasting lots of time there. If I've learned nothing else from Mom's death, it is that time is finite. Giving up Facebook actually occurred to me. I'm not prepared to do that, but to be there less would be good.

Recalling that it does get a bit better each day, I look forward to tomorrow.


Songbird said...

It's never easy to lose a parent. It doesn't seem to matter whether it was a good or difficult relationship, a surprising or inevitable death. Take care of yourself!

Anonymous said...

Hello. I jumped over here from the Reflectionary, your blog name seemed to beckon (I'm an Episco and a Granny too.) I don't have any words of wisdom for you and I know better than to try. I appreciate that you share your story, my heart reaches out to you.

Wait, I DO have a word for you...sometimes when I am completely overwhelmed I run through this little scene in my imagination as if God has left me a note to read when I woke up:

"Dear Child, I just wanted to let you know that today I have everything under control and you don't have to worry about a thing. With Love, Your Father in Heaven, God."

Caminante said...

I have not yet journeyed the path you are walking right now though I know it will be sooner than later. So for that reason, I can't really speak about what it is to lose one's mother... other than to lose the person who brought you to life, who was at the other end of the phone... it has to be a huge tear in the fabric of your life so be gentle and loving with yourself. And hug the kitteh(s); they understand.

And prayers from Vermont (down south though I used to live in central Vermont which I loved).

[going back through your previous posts I read in July: I've worked my entire professional life with the critically ill and dying. I'm no stranger to death. I have worked as a critical care nurse, an oncology nurse, a hospice nurse. I thought I knew what it would be like to face the demise of a family member.... ah but it is so different for someone when it is their own flesh and blood.]

alphabet soup said...

Ah, my heart goes out to you. One day a door will open and A Balanced Life will be standing there saying "You're here at last. I always knew you would make it to this day".
I don't know quite how this happens but it will happen. Have faith.
Ms Soup

Mary Beth said...


Diane said...

just wanted to say (((Laura))))

My dad's just in a nursing home, and I'm feeling it already.

Take care.