We are here

With the phone call about M’s father yesterday our day sort of exploded into a bazillion pieces of confused emotions and indecisiveness. We are not big planners for the weekend most of the time anyway, but yesterday turned into a couch-potato haven with Netflix marathons on both televisions, here in the house together and solidified as usual yet lost in our thoughts and feelings. It seems unusual for us.

But yesterday was far from a normal day.

I cooked and baked the entire day away yesterday, because nothing says grief like food preparation while enjoying a Supernatural marathon on Netflix. We now have breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the next couple of weeks. Plus cookies, brownies, and cupcakes galore. Hopefully I can give the latter away to work associates, friends, neighbors, even random strangers. I’ll save a few for my daughter and her finace, but G and K are in Michigan for the week and the baked goodies will be stale by their return. I will figure something out.

I am back in the office today. M tells me he is okay, just feels odd. I understand that all too well, and I am keeping eye out. His sisters have both been in touch, and now is an inappropriate time for squabbling so he is being supremely patient in his conversations and dealings with both of them.

This morning I woke up thinking about our cancelled vacation, and how it would have been to get off the plane in Las Vegas to this type of news. We felt fine about canceling our plans for this week, and we are enormously relieved we did so now. I doubt we would have come home early, but I know we would have not been able to relax and enjoy ourselves either.

In this weird, gray period, things are good, our faith and belief in the circle of life sustains us. I know, M knows our separation from his father and his family of choice was the right one for us, but the thing about death is its finality. There is absolutely no opportunity to say the things that remained unsaid, to seek or grant tangible forgiveness. M has many good memories of his father and his family, but there is a lot of unresolved anger and frustration to be released as well. We are big, grown-up people, away from our childhood homes many, many years. When my last surviving parent, my mother, passed away I felt this enormous relief and freedom from events weighing me down, and it seems M is experiencing something similar. We try hard to live positive, hopeful lives. The depression, the dourness, the destructive negativity of our elders was very hard for us. Despite that, we love them; we always wished for better for each of them.

In grief I always think and wonder about what examples, what lessons, what memories and emotions my children might have about me when my time comes. If I were of a more negative mindset, I would suggest there is still lots of time for me to screw up our relationships. The mere thought of that actually makes me smile, because I am secure in my place and my legacy in their lives. While my own dysfunction has seemed so limiting at times in my life, I know there are familial patterns and cycles I broke away from and others that I improved upon. For this generation, I must be satisfied with the progress made thus far and have faith the positive energy tide will continue.

For where we are today, that is enough.

2 thoughts on “We are here

  1. I understand the kind of numbness that you are likely feeling. It’s hard not to have the closure of a funeral while still knowing that it is the right decision not to go.

    I was still in contact with my grandmother when she passed and I loved her. But I refused to go to the funeral because my parents would be there. While that was the right decision, it was still hard.

    Sending you a virtual hug from a stranger who knows what’s it like to be estranged from her parents.

    • Oh ND … THANK YOU so much! It means a lot to me, more than I can express, because unfortunately our histories have more in common that I or anyone sane should be comfortable with. Yet I’m grateful, because you’re not alone, and neither am I. As horrified as I am to know as many men and women who have suffered, it exhilarating to know as many men and women who have made tough, unpopular choices to break the cycle and extricate themselves.

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