Sunday, August 7, 2011
"Lord, beer me patience."
Speaking of beer, I haven't been down to the cemetery to drink O'Douls with my mom since the first time. I have been to her grave site a couple of more times, but just briefly. I had Jericho with me last time, which makes it tougher to really concentrate down there. But really, he makes it easier to be down there. I can kind of talk myself through things, by talking to him; telling him that this is now one of Grandma's houses and that she lives with Jesus. Am I convinced though?
I'm still having a difficult time really facing this. Maybe I'm afraid it's just too hard, or that it's going to hurt just too bad. So instead, I avoid it. I think about my mom, but very superficially, meaning, I picture her alive for a second at a time, and then I shut it all out, never wanting to come face to face with what is real. I frustrate myself, but I accept the fact that I may be just too weak right now.
I went to my first therapy session last Thursday, which was good. So many people want to be there for me right now, and I'm so lucky to have so many good, loving and caring people in my life. The thing is, I just never have much to say. The conversations usually go like this:
Friend: "So, how are you holding up?"
Me: "Um...I'm doing OK, how are you?"
Friend: "Good. So how's your family hanging in there?"
Me: "Um...Pretty good, I guess."
Friend: "I just want you to know I'm thinking of you and am here if you need anything. Do you need anything?"
Me: "Um...thanks. I can't think of anything at the moment."
Have you ever heard anyone say to you, "Life has lost its taste, its smell, its feel?" Well, a lot of days, that's how it is. It's just very....gray. And not the good, rich color of gray that's on our walls. But a cold, empty, meaningless gray. It kind of gets me down and keeps me down, usually for 12-24 hours. When it happens, I think I can be a bit of a jerk. I am sorry if any of you have caught me on these days, and I know some of you have. Please be patient with me. Know that I so appreciate you and your friendship and your trying to help. I just sometimes have nothing to say, literally. Like I actually cannot put into words anything, because I really don't feel anything.
It was good talking to my therapist; it helped me to be able to actually tell someone that I feel nothing; that I feel just numb and like I'm avoiding the new reality of my life. It was nice to be able to let out a few of my frustrations, as well. It's hard not to feel bitter sometimes; angry at God for allowing my mom to suffer for so many years; angry at friends or family who I thought should have been here to help after Mom died; angry at doctors who were never well enough connected to their patient to ever have a shot at making things better. It's just good to...feel.
I have a hard road ahead; this became clear as the therapist (we'll call him Bob) tried to lay out some things I should expect. He said that I am numb; that I've sort of wrapped myself up in a cocoon to protect myself. He said it's normal, but that I will probably become a complete mess in another month or so. (Yeah, he actually used the word 'mess.') He suggested I cut my school load back, because he's sure I'm not going to do as well as I need to in my classes. (Not sure what to do here; I need to get my classes done.) He said that I will never feel the same again; I'll never be quite the same again. And as for my relationships, he told me to expect one group of people to come closer and overwhelm me with their love and friendship. And the other group will pull away, being now uncomfortable with the new me and with the idea of death altogether. So, I guess I can't get too mad at people; it's natural; it's bound to happen, he says.
One thing he told me, which I really liked, is that, when I do begin to fall apart, and when I sort of strip off that protective cocoon, to just let the emotions that come wash over me; that I should let them just envelope me like a wave and just...feel everything. Now, the falling apart thing doesn't sound like fun, especially that I'll be a mess for around 2 years before I begin to sort of get passed the pain. However, I'm so frustrated with the way I'm acting now; the way I'm just sort of avoiding reality and building these stupid cocoons, the prospect of really dealing with the loss of my sweet mom, and really feeling that, and beginning to maybe try talking to her, and really start living my life with some meaning again, is exciting. Ugh. Everything I'm saying sounds so weird.
I need to be patient. This is my new reality; this is the path down which I must go. I hope I can get through these next two years with some kind of grace, coming out a better, wiser, more compassionate human being; and a better husband, father, brother and son, to BOTH of my parents.
Anyway, I'm aware that so many of you are thinking of, and praying for me and my family. I am so blessed. If I seem stand offish, or curt, or just out of words for you, on a given day, I apologize. I've just nothing to say right then. But know that I think of all of you often, and know that I am lucky.