Thursday, October 19, 2006

death in the family

This is hard.

The funeral is tomorrow, halfway across the world. We did not have enough time or the resources to fly out there, and mom ultimately decided she didn't want to be there. She felt it would be too traumatizing, especially if there was an open casket. She got to say her goodbyes a few days prior, when her mother told her she was ready to go.

My grandmother had been battling leukemia for a number of years. I didn't know her, but she had a close relationship with my mother, despite the thousands of miles separating them. I didn't know her, but I'm still mourning the loss. I have a small family and she was my last living grandparent. I spoke with her on the phone a few times and Mom talked about me to her a lot. Losing a parent must be one of the hardest things to endure, so it hurts just to imagine my mother's agony. If it was me in her place, I would need a straightjacket by now. Needless to say, Mom is overwhelmed in her sadness. All I can do is offer hugs, cups of tea, consoling words, and love.

Dad doesn't know how to deal with it. Tonight he told me not to leave her side, that she'll need a hospital if she gets too hysterical. She doesn't need a hospital, she needs support. That's all I can give her. She's the strongest person I know, but also the most sensitive.

Yesterday when I got the call and came home, Mom, Dad and I got intensely drunk, cried a lot, and somehow muddled through the day. Today was calmer, but still tough. Her tears come in waves. I don't want to leave her alone, so I won't be coming into work the rest of the week.

It's a strange, gray, hazy time. It's impossible to concentrate on anything. I feel lost and useless and restless, and the only thing that comforts me is knowing that my presence is making this more bearable for my mother. We've spent the last two days house-bound, but tomorrow we'll try to take a walk, maybe go to my apartment, so I can pick up a few extra things. It looks like I'll be here for at least another couple of days. All plans for the week have been canceled, including a concert tonight and a trip out of town this weekend. It's hard to think of life returning to its usual routines, to say nothing of life being happy. Anything I was feeling depressed about during the last few weeks is nothing compared to my mother's grief now.

I don't know what to do with myself. Which is fine, because it's not about me.

Thank you for all the condolences and messages of sympathy.


StrangerInTheseParts said...

Sounds like you're doing well under the circumstances. Your post is very clear and calm. I wish you lots of support.

I have always found the time around a death of someone close to be very special. The whole world lets you off the hook - no one expects anything from you. You are outside time. I hope you find some moments of peace between the heavy bouts of grief.

coasta said...

much love dolls.

raquel said...

Your strength amazes me. Keep your chin up.

CoatMan said...

My sincerest condolences.