The Death Cafe
childrearing

“I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.” 

“For in grief nothing “stays put.” One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?

But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?

How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, “I never realized my loss till this moment”? The same leg is cut off time after time.”
 C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Everyone says Grief comes in waves. You can be very good for a few days straight, then suddenly you find yourself knocked on your head, flailing underwater, gasping for air. And then that goes too, in its own time. It’s shocking how quickly the feelings can change too. I was doing great all weekend, I was with friends, there were almost blissful moments of random memory rushing to the surface. I let it all happen, I tried to enjoy. And then, without warning, comes the crash. And I just want to sleep and cry. I get up again for the kids though, when its’ time to fetch them. And they help me see my vague purpose again, they give me a job to do, someone to worry over (trying not to, but sometimes I do.)

Someone mentioned beside the grief, that there could be a bit of PTSD going on, in the sense that after operating on such a traumatic level, outside of our default capabilities, we now are having a hard time transitioning to the land of the living. We have to become different people than we were during that time, and we are just at the beginning of that process. But we are also finally allowed to grieve what we couldn’t as long as Vernon was with us. As much as we tried to be realistic, we still held hope within our hearts that somehow he would somehow get better.  Maki has said that he doesn’t ‘feel like himself’ sometimes. I think I know what he means. He said he could relate to this quote:

“There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.”
 C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

But then, it passes…at least for me. I believe for the kids too…especially Justine, who is easiest for me to read. It’s hard to watch the kids have to deal with this, but then…I always think: “I know so many people who lost their parents when they were young. They still became confident, well-adjusted adults, for the most part. I know people who have lost their spouses: some remarried, some did not. They still found their way in the world and found their way joyfully, despite the pain of loss they may often still feel. Sometimes I get very angry, but I don’t feel entitled to have him alive with us. (Maybe because we already let him go somewhat over the past couple of years?) I’m understanding this death thing is really a part of life, no one escapes it. It happens to be our family’s turn to deal with it. It sucks though.

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Today, after writing this piece, I will get back to the pile of envelopes and bills to sort out. It’s been sitting there for weeks, I just keep shuffling it into different piles. Today, I moved it all the living-room from the office, in order to clear out a work space for Maki. If it weren’t for him, that pile would keep growing. But the fact is: I’ve moved it! Progress! We’re getting somewhere. I’m doing really well this morning, feeling focused, energized. I better get done what I can before the next wave of surprise emotion hits and I won’t be able to anything except look after the kids.

 

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The Death Cafe
childrearing