Saturday, August 11, 2007

parent death

One of the biggest things when my mom died, was I thought I had to get it all figured out. All the complexities of our relationship, all the unsaid things, all the unmet needs, all the mixed feelings of love and abandonment, betrayal and goodness. I was afraid that there were all these things left undone that now I would never be able to resolve. But the truth was, maybe I never would have been able to resolve them, and maybe I would have been able to. and in time, even with her dead, I have. There is this peace about it now. In the sorrow and bitterness, in the beauty of how she moved and how she survived, and the strength she passed on, and in her pain.

The thing that surprised me was how long it took. Like, for years it hurt. The first three years were the worst. I think if I had know in the beginning that it was going to suck for three years, I would have may be taken it easier on myself.

Not that it totally sucked all the time. There were times when it was easy, times when I would forget. Times when I was worried that I wasn't sad enough. Times when I was worried that I was more sad about my failing relationship than my dead mom. I thought I had to get it right. There is no getting it right, it will all come. there is time for it all.

What I needed most was for the people around me to know that I couldn't hold up my side of things. Every task was difficult, most of the time. Cooking, figuring out what to do with my day, holding up my side of the friendship, calling people, reaching out, making plans, answering the question "what do you want to do". I couldn't care take. I needed taking care of.

I read a lot of trashy books. Weird pseudo-feminist mystery novels like by Elizabeth Peters, or Rita Mae Brown. Trashy pseudo-historical fiction, like Zorro by Isabel Allende. Paperbacks. Best Sellers. Shit I didn't have to think about. I read a book a day sometimes.

Part of what I needed was just to get through the day.
Part of what I needed was to do the normal things I did.
Part of what I hated was people being normal around me.
Part of what I needed was for people to be normal around me.

I wish more people had just brung up questions about death and mom in the beginning of each time we hung out, so it wouldn't be looming over us, waiting to see if it would be addressed. Like, they could ask questions about my family, about funeral stuff, about if there were things I was realizing I needed, about what she was like, about did I want to talk about how she died. did I want to talk about my relationship with her. did she read to me. did she know I wrote a zine. did I have ideas about what happened when you die. anything. anything to break the ice. And if I didn't want to talk about it, I could have just answered shortly, abruptly, I could have said I didn't want to talk about it right then. I could have said anything, instead of always waiting to see. Instead of feeling like a freak and a burden. Instead of feeling so locked up and terrible and pretend.

1 comment:

Ciara O'Connor said...

Hi! I wrote you a letter ages ago from Ireland. Im pleased to see your blog! (thanks for the reply btw!) I was the same after my Dad died and my partner. People wouldnt talk about it. Death is a time to reflect on what death means, to talk about it, to engage.