07 June 2015

Six months later

Sometimes, I think, "surely folks must be sick and tired of me citing my mom's death, of me saying that she's dead, one week, one month, three months, six months" and then I realize it's more that I'm sick and hard of citing mom's death; because I'm wishing she wasn't dead, and I'm wishing I was past it, even though I know that six months is reasonable and I know that getting past it isn't really going to happen, that you always miss the ones you love, when they are absent from your life.  I get all that, I understand it, but that head knowledge doesn't always affect the heart's feelings.

So, yesterday I was talking with a friend of mine on the phone and started to cry, telling her that I don't think I'm doing all that great.  She disagreed, telling me that she thinks that I've been handling things remarkably well.  She went on to say lots of other reassuring things, that I needed to hear at the moment.

Mom never wanted to be a bother, she wanted me to keep living my life, not to allow her to interrupt things for me.  And I tried to honor that, and kept in mind all those things that people advise, like not to make any huge changes or decisions while grieving.  And so I shouldered on, and did those things that I'd already committed to, that I already planned, that I felt I needed to address because they were things that needed to be done for other folks, or because I should do them, because I should, that was reason enough.

Then I thought that perhaps I was using those commitments as a delaying tactic so that I wouldn't
have to face up to mom's death, that I wouldn't need to go thru her things, her clothes, etc.  Even tho her death was not something that I've avoided or been able to avoid even if I had wanted to.  So, I began to tell folks, "starting in midMay & running thru July, I'm taking a break" so that I can focus on mom's things and grieving.

But then last week, I realized that none of that time is for me, really.  It's all family stuff.  And it's all on the go, Go, GO.  And now that I am starting to decompress, I'm plunging, I'm more and more tired and exhausted and sore.

I'm so conflicted, internally.  Because I don't seem to be doing a good job with easing back on involvement, without taking on more commitments and wanting to do the best that I can do, to excel on those commitments.  But I dread them, and they are no longer fun, if ever they were in the first place.  Just because I can do something and do it well, doesn't necessarily mean that I should or even that I truly want to.  Yet I want to do them, because I've committed to them and I so don't want to disappoint others.

I can't seem to find that balance of moderation, that midrange that is a healthy place to be.  I go from one extreme of doing all I can do, and then taking on more, to the other extreme of wanting to chuck it all so that I can draw a clear line of delineation.  And even now, I think, "aren't others sick and tired of hearing me whine?"


  1. I get what you're going through. I finished going through my mom's house in March; we held the estate sale this weekend. I hired a company to do it because I couldn't handle being there. As it was, I alternated between being a screaming harpie and crying hysterically. Mom will have been gone 18 months in July, and my father 13 1/2 years. I'm still not over either of them, but I'm trying to learn to live in the new normal as an only child with my husband as my only remaining family.

  2. I think the very fact that you recognize all this and write of it so concisely, speaks volumes as to how well you are doing. Everyone is different when it comes to handling grief. Some face it and move on in weeks (if not days), but most of us take a while - months - if not years. (As Jean so succinctly addressed it above.) You do what you gotta do and take the time you gotta take. Those that know and/or love you will understand. As the old saying goes - "Those that mind, don't matter and those that matter, don't mind."


Thanks for taking the time and effort to let your thoughts be known!