It’s been two days shy of a month. The days and weeks since the beginning of February are blended together; most of the time I’m not sure what day it is, and barely what month. The time has both flown by and dragged. My oldest daughter turned ten yesterday, and it was bittersweet. The tenth anniversary of the day I became a mother, and the first of those anniversaries without my own mother by my side.
The song Lightening Crashes by Live was on the radio yesterday afternoon. I have always felt the lyrics to be powerful:
Lightning crashes a new mother cries
Her placenta falls to the floor
The angel opens her eyes
The confusion sets in
Before the doctor can even close the door
Lightning crashes an old mother dies
Her intentions fall to the floor
The angel closes her eyes
The confusion that was hers
Belongs now to the baby down the hall
The song always brings me close to tears; yesterday it took me all the way to tears.
Ten years ago, I became a mom, and my mom became a grandma. I never imagined being here now without her.
The pain is fading, somewhat. Or maybe I’m hiding it; I’m a little worried about that. There are moments when the realization that there are things I will never be able to talk to her about hits so hard that it feels like my heart is tearing open. In those moments, I push the feelings down, bury them, because the world keeps turning. I feel like I can’t bear to face them without breaking down. That worries me, knowing that it will probably build to a breaking point, but I don’t know how to face those feelings. I can’t conjure them up on demand when I am alone and have time to deal with them, and when they happen, I rarely have time to deal with them. I have kids and a job and a house and responsibilities.
I talk to the girls about her often. We stopped at the cemetery last night to be sure her solar lantern was working. V showed grandma her new glasses, well, she held them up to the sky because that’s where grandma is. She waves to the sky too. Before we left she kissed her hand and put it on the still too fresh dirt on her grave, leaving a kiss for grandma.
I had to take V to the doctor last week because she kept saying that her heart hurt. After some examination and conversation, the doctor determined that she is probably physically feeling her grief and stress. She talked to V about expressing grief, crying, and remembering good things about Grandma. The whole thing broke my heart even more – my tiny baby is so stressed that she is physically feeling pain. She shouldn’t have to go through that. Her heart has only hurt a couple of times since then though.
The doctor said that it took her three years to be ok after her father died. Three years is a long time. It seems like forever right now.
It’s been 8 days since my mom died.
When I say it out loud, I say “passed”. It sounds nicer. But either way, it’s been eight days since life changed forever, eight days since we gave up hope and let her go.
I can’t tell, really, if it’s been 3 days or 3 weeks or 3 months, but the calendar says 8 days. My sense of time has been so distorted, especially for the first couple days. Time passed so slowly yet so quickly at the same time. People ask how I am, and I answer “Hanging in there. One day at a time.”
Really, it’s one moment at a time. Not one minute, one moment. One piece of time. There are moments that life is normal, working, watching tv, window shopping online. There are other moments that are crushing, when nothing feels right and everything feels wrong and there can’t possibly be any way that it will ever be good again. I’ve had more of those moments today than in the last week. Maybe it’s the stages of grief I’ve heard about – the first one is shock and denial. I’ve had shock, for sure, but not denial. It just doesn’t seem real. The next is pain and guilt. Check. The third is anger and bargaining. I don’t think I’m there yet. I can’t imagine bargaining; there’s nothing to bargain. It won’t bring her back. Next comes depression, reflection, and loneliness.
I think these are out of order.
Or maybe they just happen all at once. I don’t know. Where’s “I cry randomly when I’m driving” and “I just want to sink into the floor and be unconscious for awhile”? What about “I can’t concentrate on anything because my mind is everywhere”? Or “I think I’ll try finding a guy to date so I can direct my energy elsewhere”?
There was this guy I had been talking to in the weeks before 8 days ago. We talked quite a bit, and finally met in person the day before 8 days ago. It was nice – we sat at the bar and talked for upwards of three hours. He asked me out again, and kissed me before we parted. We talked pretty steadily over the next week too, me trying to keep things normal and him saying he was thinking of me. On Saturday, he asked me when he could see me again. We made plans for the following Saturday. On Sunday night, we were chatting about normal stuff, mundane stuff really. And then nothing from him. All day Monday. All day Tuesday. I sent a couple messages – “Good morning”, “I have a babysitter for Saturday, what time works best for you?” – but nothing. He disappeared. He’s blocked his profile from me on the site we met on. I’m flabbergasted. Why no explanation? I truly have no idea what happened, and now I’m kind of pissed off. Lead me on then abandon me? Bad for my self esteem.
So I had a little pity party for myself, then decided that it would be a good idea to get back on the dating site I met Stephen on. I created a new account – didn’t reactivate the old one – and uploaded a photo. I started looking. I “liked” a few guys. I came across my ex-husband (we were a 45% match, ha, I can attest to the inaccuracy of their matching system), then I came across Alan. The guy who led me on then disappeared.
Of course I sent him a message.
It said something like “I’m kind of annoyed that you just stopped talking to me, with no explanation.” He looked at my profile at 4-something this morning. I know he’s alive and has internet access, which makes me even more upset.
I spent alot of today talking to guys who find some aspect of me appealing. It’s freaking exhausting, trying to remember who’s who and what they do and where they live. At some point, I realized that it was a mixture of grief and the sting of being “dumped” that made me feel the way I did over Alan yesterday. Then I went on to realize that I got on this site for a distraction, for an ego boost. I like being told that I’m pretty as much as the next girl. It makes me feel good to have guys talk to me.
I also realized that I want to be wrapped up in someone’s arms, comforted. Someone who loves me and cares about me and wants to take care of me. I missed that so much, and I grieved that too.
A stupid thing to be grieving at a time like this, which made it all worse. It brought on the “nothing is right” hollow feeling, the panic welling just below the surface, waiting to be unleashed in some scary way. What if I never find love? I’ll never be married for 44 years like my parents, not at my age. What if I never have someone who cares for me and loves me and wants to take care of me? What if it really is me and my 27 cats when I’m 95, chasing kids off my porch with a broom?
So I sit back and think about it, and I sigh. I don’t know what else to do.