It’s been two weeks since my mom died. I’ve been functioning pretty well, even with the realization that I am now an orphan. True, I have a step-dad, but I’ve never been as close to him as my sister is. I was out of the house when my mother remarried six years after my father’s death.
I got all the necessary things done the first week. I’ve gotten many cards and calls from thoughtful people. The only thing that had bothered me was the shrimp we had bought for her still in the fridge the day she died.
But I haven’t written some of the “thank yous” to hospital people that I said I would take care of. I just can’t see to motivate myself to do it. I know I will and even want to. But so far I can’t seem to get myself focused enough to get it done.
Yesterday and this morning have been more difficult. I have a green fleece shirt jacket that I should launder, but I can’t get myself to do it yet. I had loaned it to my mom when she was in the hospital because she was so cold and I wanted her to be warm. Now, when I wear it, I imagine my mom hugging me as I put it on and feel it’s warmth. No, I just can’t wash it yet.
I’m not a big crier anymore – I was at one time; but after my father’s death I cried myself out over the years. Besides, I get really ugly when I cry – swollen eyes and face – really not suitable for the outside world to see. So over the years, I’ve learned to contain it quite a bit. But I feel a really good cry coming on today. It scares me a bit, but with the tears rolling down my cheeks right now, one by one, I don’t think there will be any escape today.
Funny but true – what I think set it off was a thought I had when my husband and I were making love – actually just before. I thought that, since my son was at work, we didn’t have to make sure to lock the back door to the house before we played. You see, my mom was of the “drop in if you’re in the neighborhood” school and would sometimes just drop in unannounced. At the time it was annoying, because I was inevitably in the midst of something else that I had to drop while we visited. But yesterday, I thought about how we didn’t have that concern anymore. It was one of those moments when you realize that the same thing that annoyed you also endeared her to you.
So I’ve been on the verge of tears since yesterday afternoon. I keep stuffing down the pain that tries to rise up in my body, but I fear I’m fighting a losing battle. I suspect that if I don’t have a good cry and get it over with, I’m going to look like a dripping faucet for longer than I’d like. I know about the phases of grief and all that – in fact, been there and done that. Just don’t feel like doing it now. I do truly believe that my mother is in a good place now, where she’ll never feel cold or lonely or frightened again. I am actually happy for her. I didn’t realize how sad I am for myself, I guess.
I’ve been focusing on the good things in my life, the things I’m grateful for and not dwelling on the thought that my mother is no longer available to me when I need her. I’m grateful that my father-in-law’s chemotherapy is done, as of this week. I’m grateful for my husband who takes such good care of me. We went to a hockey game in Springfield, MA on Friday and had a great time. Now he’s given me a Valentine’s surprise. He’s taking me for a long weekend in Hilton Head, SC. Just us and the ocean. Peace and quiet. A gated resort. Just the place for a good cry? I think maybe I should do that before we get there, don’t you? I’m grateful for my son who, although he has Asperger’s Syndrome, understood that going to the casino with his grandfather (which Grampa suggested) would bring back many, many memories of his grandmother. But he went because his grandfather asked him to and his grandfather needs him right now.
I need something to give me a “good reason” to put off the thank you notes and stuff down the pain – at least for a few more hours.