Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pretending to be okay...

I know, it's been several days since my last post. Let's just say that life is kicking my ass up one side and down the other. As you have read, my dear mother-in-law died recently. Well, to add insult to injury, her mother passed away last week, as well. We have attended two prayer services, two funerals, and two burials, ate more ham sandwiches than I could ever hope to count (why does everyone give ham to grieving families?), and cried so many tears that all of us are dehydrated to the point of numbness. And yet...it continues to pour down upon us in sheets of rain, literally and figuratively. We cannot catch a break.

I am back to work today, although I am barely functioning. I am finding it hard to just resume the life that I had before the last two weeks rocked my existance. I have never before lost someone this close to me and I am having a hard time not giving up all together. It is hard to be any kind of rock for the people around me. I am just not that strong, and yet, somehow, someway, I continue to move forward from day to day and I find moments of peace amongst the chaos. I have also learned a few things about the process of death and grieving that never before crossed my mind (although I find that odd for someone that has thought of every single way that she could possibly die).
  • One of the most insensitive questions to ask a grieving person, and yet the most asked question of all, is "how are you doing?" How the hell do you think I am doing? Do you think that I am jumping for joy and laughing my ass off at the fact that a loved one is no longer with us? How am I supposed to be feeling? DUH!
  • Being present and having a say in the final preparations is healing (even if the funeral home preys on the grief of the family by suggesting more expensive items knowing full well that they will not object on a basis of cost because all we want is the best for the body of our loved one because having the best makes us feel more at ease with the process of dying and still being able to be close to the lost loved one).
  • There is as much laughter as tears around the time of a funeral because it is another reason to get together with the family that you see only once or twice a year. And it is almost as great to see them leave as to have them there for support.
  • Real friends are those that are willing to drive 42 minutes 8 times in 6 days just to be by your side for a few hours so that you don't have to be alone, babysit your children so that they don't have to be underfoot at the funeral home (even if that means bringing home dead deer bones as treasure), or help you analyze the meaning of bolting awake at 3 am for 3 days in a row while sitting next to you drinking your awful version of a cup of coffee. Real friends don't ask questions, they just come when asked. And they make you forget the pain for a few moments in an otherwise horrific existance.
  • Life really can end at any moment and if we don't leave our legacy every day, we will be forgotten. So finish those scrapbooks and all the rest of the unfinished projects, hug your loved ones and make sure they all know exactly how you feel about them, leave your mark on others lives by being there when they need you and listening when they talk and live today as if it is your last because it very well might be.
  • I don't know where I want to be buried because I am too damn scared to think of that kind of thing but I have every intention of making a will just in case, if for no other reason than to tell everyone that I love them

This whole thing is surreal and wrong and I am sure that I will shed many more tears because of it but life has to go on sometime. My coworker walked by me today and asked "What are you doing?" My reply came as "Pretending". "To be busy?" he asked. Much to my surprise, the words tumbled out of my mouth (as the truth often does with me), "To be okay," was my response. That is what I am doing today....pretending to be okay with everything that is happening in my life becuase there is no other way to be. I have to be okay. And that is what I will try to tell myself everyday until it become the truth instead of just fiction.

I guess now is the time to look for those little things once again to fill my heart with joy. Nah...maybe I'll start with that tomorrow. I'm just not ready today.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

At least the people who ask "how are you?" care enough to try to share your grief, even if just a little bit. At least the people who ask how you're holding up probably want to help, if they can, at all. There many, many much worse things to do and say to a grieving person, like being a close friend who doesn't send a card or respond AT ALL for six years. Or being the woman (an only child, no less!) who told me to remember that my grief would never be as bad as my parents' because they lost a child, but I only lost a brother. Oh yeah?????? @##$%$#^//@#%^$&%$$$#%@%@^%@!#$%#^%#&%$!!!!!!!
Death SUCKS.