Category: Uncategorized

The More True-to-Life Stages of Grief.

Don’t worry. It gets sarcastic.

When I was 14, my mom lost her mother. My mom’s mom was her BFF, was only 63, and inexplicably died of a heart attack without a single warning sign. (I know! Right?) We were all close and I was sad to lose my grandma, but it paled in comparison to watching my mother suffer through such a debilitating loss. And then she proceeded to miss her mom every day for nearly 29 years. Until history effing repeated itself and started this whole messed up cycle again. What kind of bullshit is that? I would like to think that, had my mom had a choice in the matter, she would have adamantly rejected any scenario that would put me through what she went through. Yet here we are. And I’m kinda pissed.

What stage of grief is “anger” again? I’m guessing it falls somewhere between the “WTF?” stage and the “Well, that was a bunch of bullshit” stage. (Note: I have not properly researched the traditional stages of grief but I’m pretty sure mine could catch on.)

Anyway. I’ve also had darling and well-intentioned friends and family tell me that something good comes out of everything, no matter how bad. But my family was already close, I already appreciated every day and didn’t take people for granted (thanks to the aforementioned Grandma) and I was friggin’ strong enough already. Not sure I’ll ever see a silver lining to this shitty little cloud. We’ll call this the “Don’t give me any of that ‘personal growth’ crap” stage.

In other news, I think I’m training Steve not to use the word “need” with me because when he makes the mistake of asking me if “I need anything,” I inevitably answer “yeah, I *need* my mom.” And this leads to the “I should probably try to stop making the people around me uncomfortable” stage. I’m not to this stage yet.

I am, however, simultaneously in the “It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday and that is clearly late enough for wine” stage and the “I swear to God, if I don’t stop crying, I’m going to sew my tear ducts closed” stage.

And this. This definitely has to be one of the stages. burrito of sadnessBecause Mexican food is always good.

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#tweetstoheaven.

I was out with a good friend last night and she told me that after her cousin died when they were teenagers, she wrote him a letter and left it on his grave. The problem with that idea for me is that I’ve been to the cemetery and I’m pretty sure that’s not where my mom is hanging out. But the idea of sending a message out into the ether seemed oddly comforting – and they probably have internet up there (minus all the annoying advertisements and spam).

So, I may have finally found a use for my Twitter account  – aside from stalking celebrities. Not that I do that. That would be creepy. Anyway. I could send random tweets about the kind of nothing I used to share with my mom twice a day out into the ether and she could read them and then we could be all caught up on our discussions about nothing. Well, it makes sense to me. This is the way I see it going: tweetstoheaven 1tweetstoheaven 7tweetstoheaven 6 tweetstoheaven 5tweetstoheaven 8

These are just examples. It could work. And then it could catch on and become wildly popular and the Twitterverse will be overrun by people having conversations with dead people. Then I’ll have more to do on Twitter than checking to see if William Shatner has been fighting with any fans lately or whether Nathan Fillion is finally gonna reply to one of my tweets. Not that I tweet him. That would be sad. #celebritystalker.

The Two-Week Mark.

Not to turn my snarky, sarcastic blog into a sad place, but I’m not particularly funny lately. Unless I’m making some inappropriate joke at an inappropriate moment to make the sad people around me laugh.

The two-week mark is strange. Because when your 67-year-old, healthy, sassy mother’s heart suddenly stops beating for no good reason, people around you are still in shock as well. They can’t imagine what you’re going through. But the two-week mark is also the time when you’re expected to get back to the routine. Back to work. Back to normal. Well – the new normal.

So, I have this to report: I’m trying. I’m working. I’m hanging out with my friends. I’m taking the dogs for walks to the lake with my dad. I’m watching The Big Bang Theory reruns while making dinner and wasting time playing Candy Crush on my phone. And I have the uncontrolled fits of crying down to once a day. Usually.

The problem is that as the shock wore off, reality set in. And reality kinda sucks. My mom has left this void that is like a hole I keep tripping on. A dozen times a day. Every time I think of something I should tell her. Or something I need to ask her. Or something I want to gripe about. Or a decision I have to make. Or advice I need. Or if anything goods happens. Or anything bad. Or anything at all.

December 23rd, the day we were burying my mom, my parents’ sweet little dog died. (Cue the Depeche Mode, right? I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumors, but I think that God’s got a sick sense of humor?) Anyway, their older dog that followed my mom everywhere? Still alive. The younger one? Died, inexplicably, that morning. My father was devastated. But in his state, it was more like icing on a cupcake (because heartbreak when you’re already heartbroken and tears when you were crying anyway…seem to get washed away in the flood). So after the tragic morning at the cemetery, we all went over to my dad’s that afternoon to bury the dog in the backyard. And I made inappropriate jokes. And people laughed.

And then we went through all the motions of celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas Day like good little soldiers. Cause that’s what you do.

So, I’ll undoubtedly keep tripping on the void like an uncoordinated, three-legged dog. But, as I said to my dad Saturday, on our way back from picking out my mom’s grave stone, it only hurts this much because we had it so good. And that sure makes it hard to complain.

Erin and Mom

The Goodbye List.

I can’t get my thoughts in any kind of order except when I write things down. And I don’t keep a journal, I keep a blog. So it has to go here.

In no particular order:

  • I’m glad that my commute was 20 minutes each way and that I called you nearly every day to and from work to talk about absolutely nothing in particular.
  • I’m mad that you didn’t live long enough to be a burden. You know Jeff and I were fighting over who you and dad were going to go live with when you got elderly and senile. I’m mad that you didn’t live long enough to become elderly and senile.
  • I’m glad that you randomly called me Sunday morning and asked me to meet you at that store because you were having trouble choosing a Christmas gift. I’m so glad I rolled my eyes, threw on some jeans and met you down there.
  • I’m glad that my house got shown by a realtor on Sunday afternoon even though I wasn’t feeling good because I had to vacate my house so I went to your house and even though the realtor was in and out in 15 minutes, I hung out at your house for 3 hours.
  • I’m glad that I’m a 42-year old woman who’s never picked out a single house paint color without your input.
  • I’m so pissed that you won’t be here when I finally get published. You were my biggest cheerleader.
  • I’m so sick of saying “I just don’t understand.” It’s true, but every time it comes out of my mouth, it sounds repetitive and useless.
  • I’m so glad you didn’t suffer.
  • I’m so mad you didn’t say goodbye.
  • I’m so glad you and dad celebrated your 50-year anniversary this year. I’m so mad it was the last one.
  • I’m pissed that I’m writing this to a healthy 67-year old.
  • I’m so mad that now I’m a 3-legged dog. Sure, I’ll learn to run again, but my balance will never be as good and I’ll never be able to overlook what’s missing.
  • I’m glad you were my best friend.
  • Still pissed about the 3-legged dog thing.

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