No, really, I'm fine.
Oh, thank you. But I'm fine.
Well, I'm okay. But don't worry about me. I'm fine.
That's what you're supposed to say when someone you love dies, right? Sure, you get a grace period, an undetermined number of days to mourn, but after that you pick yourself up by the bootstraps and get on with your life. Life is for the living and all that. But how many days do you get to wallow in your own self pity because yet another person who was close to you goes toes up?
I may sound flippant about the whole ordeal, but this is me being serious. I've had too many people die on me in the past few years - my Mom, two grandfathers and now my maternal grandmother - and I'm tired. I'm so very tired. My protective armor comes out whenever the subject of death comes up, shielding me from the pain, pushing it back so I can see the pain waving to me but far enough away so it can't touch me. I was like this after Mom died. I gave myself, what, a week? Two? And then I went on with business as usual. Except it was business unusual. But to see me you never would have known, because I was fine.
But there seems to be a chink in my armor. Since my Gram passed every morning has been a battle to get out of bed, and then the day lingers before me with its promise of sunshine but all I see is another opportunity for someone to leave me. I get jumpy when Chicky gets too close to our pool, I get anxious when Mr. C comes home later than expected. You'd never know it by looking at my face because I'm really good at hiding it, but it's there.
I'm having a bad week, as you can tell. Having to come off the extreme frenetic high of Blogher and straight to a loved one's death bed is not an easy transition and it seems to have thrown me all out of whack. I might feel stronger next week after the service is over and all the receiving lines and sermons and luncheons are over, but today I'm fragile.
I told myself at Blogher that I was going to start getting real with my blog posts (please save your Real World jokes for a later date) as a way of therapy. So here goes nothin'... Hi, I'm Mrs. Chicky and I have a problem with avoidance. I come from a long line of avoiders, most of whom are dead now, and it's time to break that cycle. There's a little piece of me playing with blue Play-Doh at my feet and she doesn't deserve to live like this. Pretending she's a butterfly or a monkey or a purple fairy - that's fine. Pretending that life is fine even when it's not? Not fine. As a matter of fact, I'd like to work on removing that word from her vocabulary.
Next week will be better. I hope. As a kind woman just said to me in an email (and I really hope she doesn't mind me quoting her), "I don't like the netherworld between death and funeral. There's something about having the ceremony that puts the stamp on death that I actually find very helpful in that it allows me to start grieving." I concur. Next week I should be fine.
This is going to be tougher than I thought.
Thursday, August 02, 2007