Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Getting close to the six month mark.

I remember this point, after my dad died. Where the grief level you thought you'd left behind sneaks back up on you. You find yourself crying on the way to anywhere. Crying when you say goodbye to people after a dinner, or a chat, or an email. I think I have abandonment issues. And what worse abandonment is there than death? Last night I lay awake thinking about how much easier it is to be dead (like I have any idea. Maybe the afterlife has a tightly packed schedule).

It feels self indulgent to remember him. It won't really bring him back. It'll make me cry. Does he feel me missing him? Does he know? Or is there really nothing after life? In my fantasy afterlife we all reconnect. We all understand what happened in life, and forgive, and love each other without all the interference of earthly life and biochemical reactions and bad breeding. How is that any more or less likely than anyone else's?

People treat me like it never happened. I find that odd, and then I remember that to them, who didn't have their jagged lives hollowed out for them by deep volcanic forces (I am a geode, yes), things went back to neutral again after they said they were sorry for my loss. They have no idea that I am in flux. That I am on a different time, in a different world. They expect me to act like a normal person, but I've left normal way, way behind. (Some would argue I had done that long before, like maybe as a toddler, ask my mom.)

I have these two notebooks, journals I kept for Jesse and his brother in case I died before they got to know me as an adult. I didn't want them to go through what I did with my dad, not knowing who he was, what he really thought, no reminiscences, no anecdotes that change over time to reflect the changes in our relationship-- things you take for granted when your parent is there with you, things you may not realize you are missing. Perspective. And now Jesse is gone and will never read his. I struggle with this. I can't read it myself. Just thinking about it hurts. I don't know whether to give my younger son his now, before it's too late. Or add more to it.

I added one last entry to Jesse's. There's something profound about writing to the dead, knowing he will never open his book and read it, as the words flow from the pen. How do we do this? How do I do any of it. I'm at a loss to tell you more than this: I wake up in the morning because Jesse's brother exists. Because my present misery is less important than what he would feel losing me, too after Jesse and his father. That's my purpose in life, not to die on him. To set aside my grief a little and be his mother. If you're searching for more meaning than that, good luck to you.

1 comment:

  1. I'm kind of inspired by your journal/notebook idea, the ones you've written for both of your sons.

    From the time we adopted my older daughter in 1987 until my other children were born and up and through until about ten years ago - I used to write long passionate letters to each of them for the very same reasons you did - in case anything ever happened to me and I wasn't around when they became adults. I'd write before I got on a plane to somewhere, or just on the spur, or once, before I went in for dental surgery that wasn't anywhere even near life-threatening, but I still wrote to them anyway. I tucked these letters away in a filing cabinet, sealed the envelopes - and with the advent of going online around a decade ago - I promptly forgot about them. Now I can't find them! I know they weren't thrown out, that's certain - but they're here somewhere like a buried treasure. I'm dying to read them again - a full ten years (and in some of the letters almost 15 years) has passed - and it's akin to finding buried treasure for me. I want to see how I've changed over all those years, if all the same things matter to me now that mattered so much then, and I still want my children to have them, unedited - and now I want to resume the writing again.

    So I have you to thank for reminding me, Iso. Thanks for sharing these things with me, with all of us out here.


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