Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In Which I Engage In Cathartic Behaviors

Grieving sucks. There's no preparation for it. There's no getting around it. There's no warning for when sorrow is going to sneak up and sucker punch me in the face. There's no expression I can make, no words I can say, no possible way to convey the rawness I feel inside. I get up, I get dressed (sometimes), I love on my baby, I make lunches for my kids, I sign planners, I do my homework, I put gas in the car, I answer the phone, I laugh at jokes (most of the time), my life goes on---on the outside. Inside, it's a bit of a train wreck.

I talk to people who have no idea how soundly my world has been rocked and inside I feel like I'm screaming, "Don't you know!?!?!?!" I have two friends here who've both lost their mothers, quite early in their lives. I feel like I'm too young to have lost my mom---they were definitely too young. You need your mom on your wedding day, and when your children are born, and when you make your first roast dinner for your husband and when your baby gets her first tooth. You need your mom when you have your first big fight with your husband so she can tell you to suck it up and get over yourself; or that you're right, he is a big McJerky Stupidhead, but you chose him, and you'll love him more than you did yesterday---tomorrow. You need your mom to tell you what a great mother you are and how much she adores your children. They didn't get that.

I at least got that. But what I feel right now---they get it. Even when I can't say what I feel, they see it, they know it, they've lived it. I hate having this in common with them. When I am anywhere in close proximity of either of them, my guard is down. I know they can see beyond the "I'm good, thanks for asking" and the composure I manage to maintain most days. There is a strange comfort in knowing someone understands---fully. The words I can't say, the feelings I can't describe, the bottomless well of emotion I can't seem to get past.

The day after my mom died, I sat and read her journal of the last 10 years from cover to cover. It felt like I was talking to her and I couldn't bring myself to stop. It was obsessive and slightly irresponsible since there was so much to do, and I had a newborn child to tend to. I couldn't stop. Reading it made me realize how grateful I am for this blog and the documentation of so much. It made me realize that I want/need to do it more regularly. I've always kind of prided myself on "keeping it real" with this blog. I also find enjoyment in expressing myself or relaying stories in a way that they are enjoyable to read.

I've been hesitant to blog because I feel overwhelmed by the task of "keeping it real". I don't even like what's real right now, why would I blog about it for others to read? I also get annoyed when people belabor what they are going through so much that you want to stab yourself with a fork. Like, the pregnant person who is nine months pregnant for 2 years. Or the person who gets two stitches in their little toe and you'd think they donated a kidney--three times. You know what I'm talking about. Sorry if you are one of these people and I've offended you. :) You should know though, I'm not the only person it annoys. It annoys EVERY.ONE.

When I was pregnant with baby AJ, those who were around me in real life, felt my every pain. But on the world wide webs, lots of people said, "Wow that was a fast pregnancy" and I smiled with satisfaction every time. Good.

But, I can't ignore this and I can't gloss over it, and I suspect if I can blog regularly like I hope to, there will be lots and lots of posts about it. I miss my mom. I'm heartbroken that she's not a phone call away. Or that AJ won't grow up having conversations with her. Or that Danyo won't really remember her. Or that Avee won't get to see and recognize where she got her fashionista/accessorizing tendencies. I cry just thinking about how I won't get to hear her and Bo talk endlessly on whatever topic Bo is fixated on right then. I won't get to hear her tell me what a great husband J is, or how funny/smart/cute/sassy my kids are, or get an email response to one of my blog posts, an email that is run amok with ellipses---her own personal substitution for punctuation and capitalizing.

I think of the void in my siblings lives. We all loved her and she was a vital part of each of our lives.

So, let me apologize in advance if my sorrow at her passing permeates my posts for a long long time. I look forward to the day when waking from my dreams about her alive and well don't feel like a cruel trick. I know I will always miss her, but I have hope for that which feels so hard right now, to someday be manageable. I'm only apologizing if it does end up being a lot because I do want to maintain my standard of keeping it real, and well---perhaps reading about my broken heart isn't really how you wanted to spend 5 minutes of your blog reading time. Oh, okay, let's be honest---when do I ever post something that only takes five minutes to read?

This is kind of a sad and depressing post, but I actually feel a lot better than when I started. Thanks, man.

Today my little Avee Sue turned 7. Last night I was looking at her face and noticed her jawline was becoming more defined and her face skinnier, losing the last traces of baby fat. I'm excited to see what she is growing into. So far, she hasn't disappointed one single bit. I love that girl---she is a prize to behold. And she is mine, mine, mine. :)

Tonight we came home from having dinner and cake with our friends. Since J and I both came to our friend's from school, we drove home two seperate cars. I sat in the car for about 2 minutes after we got home and read and responded to a text. I'll be damned if all three of those kids didn't climb into J's little rice grinder car and crawl all over me making demands and asking five hundred and eleventy questions. TWO MINUTES. That is all I needed. I yelled at all of them, stopped short of calling them names, and kicked them out. When I got out of the car 20 seconds later, they were all sitting on the cement blocks-pillars, whatever thingies--of the porch, waiting for me. Danyo was crowding Avee on "her block" and Bo was smart enough to stay on the other side of the porch from that tired mess. As I got closer I saw Avee was crying. She has a mean, guilt-inducing, silent, instantly red-puffy-eyed cry. It's brilliant. She is sensitive and I can hurt her feelings so easily. I can threaten dismemberment when she won't eat or take a bath, and she'll shrug and blow me off. But if I speak harshly or act annoyed, I break her heart. She is good for me to remember to watch my tongue and be patient. She's also fairly quick to forgive. Most of the time. When I asked her what was wrong she turned her head slowly to point her glare at Bo, and then at me. We all burst out laughing.

I do love that girl.


Deena said...

A few tears for you...

I would like to give you a giant hug, but I think I would need to stand on a chair for it to feel giant.


Jenny P. said...

Here's the difference between what you did with this post and what others do that is so annoying. You didn't ask one single person to feel sorry for you. You didn't wallow. You didn't say woe is me one single time.

Your sadness is real and you aren't pretending that it isn't. You're sitting in it, experiencing it for what it is, even though it really truly completely sucks. You are keeping it real. And even in the reality of your grieving, you still sound hopeful. Because you are awesome like that. There's a difference between writing so that you can feel better, and writing so that others feel like they have to try and make you feel better. Does that make sense? So. Blog please. As much as you need to.

Also, I was seventeen when my grandma died. She and I were really close. She lived right next door and oh, was she fabulous. I remember two weeks after she died, I was all dressed up to go to a fancy dance. I went out my front door and was on my way to show her my dress, that I knew she would love. When I realized what I was doing, the reality of her absence settled on me more clearly than it ever had up to that point. The routine of having her there was suddenly broken and I felt it so very keenly. All the things you loved to share with your Mom made me think of that. I miss her for you too.

Emily said...

Those people who try way too hard to "put on a happy face" in spite of clearly distressing circumstances - those people are just as annoying as the ones you describe. I am glad that you're neither of those types. All you can do is feel it. It sucks. That's all there is to it. I find that it adds dimension to the old people I know who have dealt with grief again, and again, and again.

Brittany Hall said...

You describe your feelings so well that I am willing to read anything you write, even if it's not intended to entertain. I feel sad that I have never had this kind of relationship with my mom. I went through a kind of grieving after her stroke, because I realized that that kind of closeness was never going to happen. Now I'm more of a mother figure to her.

But I wish that I had a mom like your mom. And I am sorry that you are sad.

Andrea said...

I just want to say thank you so much for keeping it real.
I'm glad you have friends that know your true feelings- that is so important, and so hard to find.
I'm sad that you have to go through this.

Sherry said...

Loved the post. I have missed them and you. Enough about you... it reminded me of my Mom. The thing my girls remember about my Mom is that she would read as many books to them as they wanted. I say "they" but in reality #2 was just a baby and didn't get to know her. I don't correct her because they both own this memory. It belongs to them and is cherished... and it would have been true.

Tori said...

Post all you want about your mom. It's your blog and your grief. Grieving is so personal and no one will do it the same. And you're right- it hits you at weird times and you never know how or what will set it off. I remember when Nicole died I was in Walmart and I could not comprehend how everyone there was just going on like everything was normal. Did they not know?!!?!?!? It makes my heart hurt thinking about it and that was 14 years ago. I'm so sorry your heart if hurting. It sucks. So bad. I love you and I've been a sucky friend, but I'm here to talk to. I haven't lost my mom, but I have felt that horrible ache of losing my sister, so I understand the heartache. <3

Heffalump said...

I haven't lost my parents yet, but I lost my Dad's Mom when I was 14. She was my very favorite person in the world and I still miss her acutely. Sometimes though, I dream about her. I dream that I spend all night just sitting and talking to her, and when I wake up, even though I can't remember what we said, I feel like I was really with her and it gives me comfort.
I thought about you today during Elder Scott's talk in General Conference. If you didn't get to hear it yet, you should check it out.

Nobody said...

Thank you everyone, for your comments. I have loved them.

Mrs. Organic said...

Everyone needs a good catharsis. I love you.

I don't know what to say other than you've been on my mind a lot and I wish I could hug you or make you my kick-ass cookies and just sit with you awhile (and maybe hold AJ).

Anonymous said...

I have also lost a mother too early in life. I felt like no one understood the extent of my pain but then I read a quote from Liam Neeson. Someone asked him about his grief for Natasha Richardson. He said, "You just have to forgive the ones who don't understand. Because if they did understand, that would mean they know the hurt and I would rather them not understand then to have felt the hurt."
I agree with Liam. I forgive them and hope they never understand.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Your mother sounds like a lovely person. My heart goes out to you.