A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Posts tagged ‘grief’

Therapy Post

Never too many flowers for Grammy. The wreaths completely covered her grave. But we'll keep her memory uncovered. Never to be forgotten.

It’s been a while, I know. I’ve had quite a rough time. I would like for it to end. I really thought that Saturday would bring it to a close, and I would go to sleep, and magically, on Sunday morning, all would be right with the world. No.such.luck. I woke up, yes. But nothing was right. I felt out of it. I still had a killer headache. I curled up on the couch and just slept. I read a little, but mostly? I just slept. I woke up when it was past the time that I should have been on the road, on my way to the weekly FamJam. I refused to be early. I didn’t want anyone to talk about it.

I didn’t want to hear how beautiful the service was. I didn’t want anyone to mention how “good” she looked. How good could she look, laying in a box? I mean, there’s no denying that she was a beautiful woman. Beyond beautiful. But don’t insult me. Or her. Don’t say she looked good, laying there, dead, in a really expensive, beautiful box. No. I don’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to hear people tease about how my mother went up with her twin brother to read a responsive prayer, but didn’t actually read anything. I didn’t want anyone to jest about anything. It was a funeral. It was somber. It was a rough time for everyone. There is really no need to rehash it.

I didn’t want anyone to comment on the fact that a lot of dignitaries were present. My uncle is kind of a big deal here, so yes, ministers of the gospel and ministers of government departments were there. I didn’t want people to say how good the Prime Minister looked for a change. Or how nice it was for the Deputy Prime Minister to attend, although he was on crutches. Or how the political divide was absent as the leader of the Opposition was also there. I didn’t want anyone to go on and on about how respected my uncle must be, to have so many people in their uniforms there, in support of him. Or my sister’s coworkers who were also there in a large number, uniformed. Or my mother’s friends who were not in uniform, but were there, nonetheless. They were there to help me from the graveside to the car. To tell me that things would be okay. To remind me to be strong for my mother. To give warm hugs. To assure me that I could call them any time. How kind, to be there for her, and for me too. How kind. What true friends.

I wanted to hear no talk of the beautiful solos. That lady really sang. She saaang. Like there would be no tomorrow. The words she sand penetrated my body, and seemed to fight to get out of my system, but they were trapped, and my body shook. I didn’t want anyone to bring it to my recollection. I didn’t want to think about it, or experience it again. The way I cried with no control. I didn’t want to hear, even in my mind’s ear, the sounds that escaped my mouth. Knowing that I’ve never cried like that before. Not at a funeral. I’m accustomed to crying quietly. No one around me would ever know I was crying unless they saw my tear-stained face. But not that day. That day, people saw the vibrations of pain and grief move my body, beyond my control. People heard the sounds of anguish and struggle exit my mouth, surprising even me. When that lady sang the second solo, I could have curled up and died. Great is thy faithfulness? Who’s faithfulness? Who was more faithful than my Grammy? WHO?! GOD?! God has been faithful in watching and letting us suffer through her illness with her, and taking her away from us, leaving us to continue to suffer without her. Yes, she’s out of it now. But only after immense pain. Maybe she was holding on for us? I don’t know… Maybe His faithfulness is great. I just know that hearing her sing about it… It was almost too much for me to take. I saw my mother, two rows ahead of me, shake, similar to the way that I shook. I saw my father wipe his face with a handkerchief. I remembered that Great is Thy Faithfulness was my grandfather’s (his father’s) favourite song. A priest sang it at his funeral. And the church became a forest of waterfalls.

I didn’t want to fall victim to looks of pity. Or questions like, “How are you doing?” Especially knowing that it was written on my face. My swollen, red eyes told the story of my day. My constant squinting was evidence of the seemingly eternal headache. My tight mouth was an indication of the fight I was in, against myself, to keep from crying. My nose, red and chapped… My hair, unkempt. My dress, unthought of. My legs, unlotioned. How was I doing? As well as a pauper on the street, perhaps?

For all those reasons and more, I refused to go early. I ate in a rush and left the table. Avoiding all conversation. All questions. All eyes. I left. I curled myself up on the couch, and mindlessly watched television. Dragons Den came on. I was pleased. Something that I could watch with the right amount of thoughtfulness and the right amount of thoughtlessness. I watched two episodes. Then there was nothing. I moved into the room without a television. I curled up on the couch with my new nook and read a little. My mother’s friends came to visit her. How nice! I wondered to myself, Will I ever have friends like hers? (Can you tell? I don’t have many friends. At all. There are just a few. I figure I have a lot of family, so no need to pile my life up with useless people. I choose friends carefully.) They drove all this way (my great-grandmother’s house is rather far) to come and see her. They brought her one of those giant greeting cards. Everyone from work signed it, along with nice little messages, telling her they missed her, and hoped to see her back to work soon, and that she needed to get well soon. (This card was not one of sympathy, but a Get Well Soon card, from she was out sick.) Along with the card came a letter-sized envelope. Cash. They took up a collection. I didn’t count it, and at the point, I don’t think she had either. Maybe they told her how much it was. After greeting them, I didn’t pay attention to their conversation. But I’m sure it’s enough to cover her next round of medication. Blessings. Finally. A reason to smile. A little less stress for her. And for me.

I was ready to go home long before it was time. I left my laundry in the washer. I couldn’t take it any more. I was ready.to.go. I got about halfway home before the tears started coming. I found myself intrigued by the way the tears dripped and dropped. Down the sides of my nose, around my mouth, and then DROP. Right onto my chest. They didn’t roll down my chin, down my neck to my chest. They just dropped. Like a jumper off of a cliff. That’s the way I wished my emotions would act. Just jump off of a cliff, never to be seen again. Over the edge, to the point of no return. Instead, they stuck around. Possibly driving me to the edge. Lord knows that if I take the plunge, there won’t be any return. I see the edge. It’s in sight. But I just.can’t.go.there. There would be no turning back.

I hope everyone is having a great week so far. I’m working at keeping busy. Lots going on at work. I haven’t been able to read any blogs. WP wouldn’t let them load. Lots of catching up to do. Those of you who miss my comments, I have not abandoned or unfollowed you. WP has been punishing me. I’ll be back. If you’ve seen any cool/fun/funny posts that I may have missed, please leave links. I could really use some good reads for my spare time. Many thanks!

Happy Holidays?

Hey Bloggedies,

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? It’s not that I haven’t had things to say. There’s been lots to talk about. At some point, I’ll catch you up on things that still matter by the time that I have the time. And the presence of mind. I also need to catch up on the lives and writings of my favourite bloggers. It will take me a while, but I’ll read up on all of your Christmas and post-Christmas excitement and adventures.

The holidays have been difficult. This is the worst holiday season I have ever experienced. I’ve had over a month of stress and drama.

I can’t think of many positive things. Just one really big one that I can’t talk about (yet). The thing that’s heavy on my mind is that my grandmother died. Yesterday morning. I am so sad that I can’t even put it into words. I’m glad that I got to talk to her, and we got some good laughs earlier in the week. I’m glad that I had the week off, and I was able to spend time at her house, waiting to see her. She slept a lot, so it was a waiting game. I’m glad she’s out of that horrible pain. It was terrible. Just to watch. But it’s over now. It’s only for selfish reasons that I’m sad. And also that I find it hard to see my mother this way. It’s really hard. *sighs*

I’m stuck at my aunt’s now. I’ve been keeping mum company. The car broke down yesterday. Right when my mother was on the phone crying, telling me to come right away. It went to the mechanic today. Got a new part. It’s still not working. Great. So now here I sit, waiting for a way to get home. I think my dad will come get me when the restaurant closes. Doesn’t look like it’ll be a busy night, so I’ll lay around until about 9:30pm. I wanna get home in time to order some pizza and chillax with my Babe. My happy place. Home.

King of Sorrow

Sade’s King of Sorrow is playing in my head. You know what that means, right? I’m having a moment.

I hate this. I can’t tell you how much it sucks. I’m sitting in the hospital. My mother has been here since Tuesday. She still can’t walk. The therapist came this morning. She was having some trouble. My sister and I got kicked out of the room. Sister left, but I waited outside the room door. It was probably half an hour later when I was let back in. I asked the therapist how it went. Not very well. She made some steps, but was very painful. She felt stiffness. Not good. The therapist told me to encourage her to move her legs. I friggin’ HATE MS. Did I tell you that? And this ish is progressive. Just gets worse. How there is no cure for these abominable conditions, I don’t know. Well, I DO know, but that’s another thing. Entirely.

She’s still in huge amounts of pain. Even with all the medication being pumped into her. She’s also having random crying spells. She was eating boiled fish (like a clear fish soup Bahamian’s like – I hate it), and said it was cold. I got the nurse to heat it up. When she came back with it, my mother said, “That’s the food you just heated up?” The nurse said, “Yes.” There was a brief silence, and the nurse said, “You forgot?” That was it. She started crying. The nurse said to me, “Sometimes it can be overwhelming,” as she gave her tissue. As she left, she said, “You take care of your mumma. She’s a special lady.”

*sighs*

This sucks, guys. It’s ridiculous to see a person – your mother – laying up in a hospital bed (or sitting in a hospital recliner like she is today), unable to walk without a walker, and the assistance of other people… Particularly when you’re used to the person being self-sufficient.

Seriously, she’s delirious a lot of the time. Incoherent. She doesn’t understand some things. Some things she says, I have trouble hearing and/or understanding. She forgets things. My grandaunt was here earlier. I met her here. (We’d arranged for her to come early today, so that I could sleep a little, and then come an hour later.) She was probably here for about 2 hours. About an hour after she left, my mother asked me, “What Gloria say?” I sort of looked at her quizzically, and asked, “What? What do you mean?” She said, “What did Gloria say? When she was here…” I was confused. I just told her that she didn’t say anything. She was just here, and she took her clothes to wash. Sister was still here at that point. She kind of laughed and said something like, “[Name she calls mother], she was just here. You forget already?”

I don’t think it’s funny. None of it is funny. It annoys me when people laugh. It annoys me when people talk about her when she’s right there, whether they think she’s out of it or not. It annoys me when people say things like, “She look bad, hey?” Like, seriously, people. Get a grip. Shut your friggin’ mouth. If you’re not here to help and/or support in some way, just leave. This isn’t Entertainment Central. She is an actual PERSON. Her hearing is FINE. She doesn’t need to hear you saying that she looks bad, or isn’t doing well, or make her feel stupid, or laugh at her condition.

I get that people deal with things in different ways. Still, I know that there are definite WRONG ways. And they annoy me. It is really disturbing that people can be so insensitive. Unfeeling. Stupid. Barbaric. I don’t feel like dealing with all of that ON TOP of this situation. I think this is all of the SUCK that I can take right now.

And HOLY HANNA, I am TRYING to be a big, brave girl. Seriously. I’m not showing my fear or sadness. I just come here, sit down, and maintain a noral facial expression. I fight tears all day long. I avoid saying negative things. I try to think positively. More than anything, I try not to cry. I try especially hard not to let anyone see me cry. Well. Last night, I broke down. I had my Wendy’s dinner, and after a few spoonfuls of my chocolate frosty, I just cried. I sat at the table with my hand covering my face, and let the tears roll. It was hard to let myself just cry. Babe was there, and I’m sure it was awkward. I didn’t look at her at all. And I didn’t really want her to look at me. I felt like an idiot, sitting there, crying over my frosty. She let me have a moment, and then she came and hugged/held me. She let me cry, and told me that it was okay. She said she knew that I was being strong and brave for my mother, and I was doing well. She also said that I don’t have to do that when I get home. Isn’t that nice?

 It’s weird that it’s not just sadness. It’s actually GRIEF. Something has been lost. Is gone. Is no more. There’s no certainty that it will return. I look at her now, and I don’t see my Mummy. I see a shell. Her body is there, but her face is not the same. It’s some other face. I don’t really recognize it. It’s covered by sadness. And confusion. It changed so quickly. Will that happen again? Will her face go back to normal? Will her brain be the same? Will her memory be restored? Will she be able to walk again? Will she ever be happy again?

Questions, questions, questions. I don’t see any answers. Therapists, nurses, the doctor… None of them have answers. Just hopes. And vague it-will-take-time statements. Like, thanks a lot, dude. That helps. *flips the bird* (Honestly, I don’t flip birds. I have never flipped any birds in my life.)

I’m the only person here. I keep wondering where the hell everyone else is. I guess they have important things to do. Maybe some of them would rather not see her like this. I don’t know. The bottom line is that I’m here by myself. Well, with her. And I feel alone. Can you imagine how she feels?

Grief and Memories

It’s horrible when someone close to you dies. It’s just as terrible when the loved one of your loved one dies. To see the person in so much pain. To not really be able to do anything. To know that whatever you say will be pretty cliché. That you really can’t do anything different from the average person in that person’s life. Even though you’re their person. Their one person. It’s a helpless feeling. You can’t compare it to what they are feeling, but you feel like you’re grieving with them. It’s odd. And uncomfortable. And you keep wondering what you should do or say. How you could make them feel better, somehow. You want to fix everything. Make them smile. You them to know that the memories will last forever, and the time will come when they will be able to look back and smile and/or laugh. Memories won’t always bring tears.

You want to say so much, but can’t. You know that they’re being over-talked. You know that people are saying things to them all the time. Sending them messages all the time. The same things you would say. So you’re lost. You feel like what you do and say should be special. But WHAT?! There’s really nothing. All you can do is be there. Be present. Love them. Hold them. Wipe their tears. Listen to them when they want to talk. Talk to them when they want distraction. Hold their hand through it all. It’s so easy, but so hard, because you’re over-thinking it. All anyone really wants during a time of grief is room to grieve, however they choose to do it. Comfort when they need it. And knowing that someone is always there. And memories are always there. Always.

 

I find that funerals are good for closure. It’s hard to plan. It’s hard to get ready for. It’s hard to attend. But the funeral is where people say their final goodbyes, and really come to terms with it.  There have only been a few deaths in my family. My grand-uncle (a stand-in father for me, and adopted father of my dad), my uncle (aunt’s husband), my grandfather, and my grandaunt. With all of them, I cried when I found out what happened. I cried for me, I cried for the future without them, I cried for the people close to them. I didn’t go on crying for days. I did have little moments. But most of the time, I was fine. It was at their funerals that I really, really cried. The grief and sorrow welled up and overflowed. Every sad face, every mention of their names, every fond story shared, every cry I heard around me, every hymn the church sang. They were drips into an already-full well, waiting to be emptied. I often wonder why people choose sad songs for funerals. The typical funeral songs that make people cry. Now, after a few funerals, I realize that we need to cry, a lot of times. A lot of people hold back for a long time for various reasons. Trying to be strong for others, busy with making arrangements, feeling to old to cry, feeling to manly to cry… Funeral hymns break all of that down. And people can release their loved ones into the universe. People can realize that they are out of the world, but not out of our hearts.

At my grandfather’s funeral, my dad asked the priest to sing How Great Thou Art, because it was one of my grandfather’s favourites. It’s not a typical funeral hymn, but I cried. That was when I really cried. We all did. To this day, when I hear that song, my eyes well up.