How Long?

There has to be some point after which I can no longer blame my disengagement on my mother’s dying.  Or more accurately, on having watched my mother die.  I’m having trouble calling people back, or answering the phone for things that don’t feel particularly relevant.   If you call me and leave a message, the information has been transferred.  I can’t remember why I’m supposed to call you back if I don’t have anything new to add.  Obviously, it is the polite thing to do, but the polite thing seems fuzzy and distant.

People that matter to me, that I genuinely like.  I owe them e-mail or text or something to let them know that I’m still alive, that their cards and words of kindness were received and read.  I haven’t done it in too many cases.

I don’t think it is depression exactly.  I’m getting things done.  I’m keeping up with the laundry, crossing things off the to-do list.  I’m just faring really poorly with the things that are normally a challenge for me.  If the social thing isn’t immediately tied to the thing that is happening in my head, then I have to remember to pay attention.

I think I’m probably past my blanket excuse expiration date.  A while back I dreamed I was trying to reach a kid that had been traumatized by coming through a war zone.  The kid was telling me I could never understand where they were coming from: displacement, watching loved ones die in front of them.  I sat down next to the kid and said “actually, I kind of get it.  Not exactly the same experience, but it wasn’t sunshine and ice cream for me either.”

Let’s be honest here.  It wasn’t bad like war zone bad.  I had The Boss.  She had expert medical care and the best oblivion drugs insurance can provide.  Surely I’m being a bit of a drama mamma here, trying to explain my untethered by blaming my mother.  People go through this all the time.  I think I need to get over myself and start answering the phone.

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How Long?

2 thoughts on “How Long?

  1. Sharyn Constantine says:

    It’s your mother. You are allowed to grieve as long as you need to. I think we are often expected to behave like machines, tick off big life events then get back on the conveyor belt, but in reality these things can knock you about. It sounds like you need to hibernate at the moment, and if you are safe and looking after yourself then that’s really all you need to do. One step at a time, because grief is a process, no matter how you lost your loved one. It must be very disorienting to lose your mother, no matter the age she or you are. Big hugs to you, and I’m so sorry for your loss.

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  2. Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes I’m okay, sometimes I’m lost. It’s probably par for the course. On the other hand, if I don’t pick up the phone sooner or later, I’m going to have no friends left. 🙂

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