Note: If you’re my artistic genius Mom (with great hair) you should probably not read this. Because MOM, the packing/moving will get done, I promise. Also, I’m a writer, Mom. Which means I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect, allegedly.
Also Note: Even if you’re not my artistic genius Mom (with great hair) you might want to skip this one. It’s hard stuff. Hard to write and probably hard to read. Also, I’m fully aware that there is terrible crap and suffering and pain and unfairness happening everywhere, all the time. In the grand scheme of things, my crap probably isn’t that terrible. But it’s mine. And I’m working through it here, on my blog. You may find it uncomfortable. I do.
Which means it’s practically next Friday.
Which is when the movers are coming. (The movers are coming?!)
Am I ready?
Surely you jest?
Ready to start getting ready?
I guess…. No.
Oh alright, I’m exaggerating. I’ve probably got over 50% of the sorting/packing done.
But it is slow going.
And I hate it.
And I haven’t even tackled what I think will be the worst stuff.
Here’s what I want to say about moving, in general:
Moving sucks even when you are super-excited about the move and can’t wait to be in the new, wonderful place.
It sucks more when you aren’t super-excited about the move.
It super-fucking-sucks when you feel shitty about the move, don’t know where you’re going to be living or what your life is going to look like after next Friday, and you have to pack up your dying mother’s belongings/fabulous art/favorite things. And you’re sad because (a) you know that your artistic genius Mom (with great hair) is sad about leaving her favorite things, and (b) you’re wondering if she will ever be able to see or touch these things that she loves so much again and (c) you’re all by yourself with your sadness and with all her things.
OH, and it is reminding you of that other SUPER FUCKING SUCKY TIME when your Dad died suddenly (at age 52!) and your whole world crumbled down around you and you were in shock (Just like everyone else, because how does that shit even happen? Honestly. How?) and you had to go into his home (and his home didn’t even know he was dead, everything was right there, waiting for alive-Dad to come back) and you had to pack his whole sweet life up and you were all by yourself. (except for one day when lots of people came at once to help and you really appreciated the help but also, Ohhhhh, the weight of having all those very sad people in the house and everyone wanted something and sometimes people wanted the same thing and it wasn’t very peaceful.)
And you wonder why you had to do that alone and why you’re doing this alone.
(and you secretly thank god that you only have two parents and that all your grandparents are dead already because you can’t fucking imagine ever doing this again without completely losing your mind and you pray to god (again and again) to watch over your son because if anything ever happened to him it would really just all be over, forever and ever, amen)
And how did you get nominated to be the designated Person Who Deals With The Bad Shit? And you try to tell yourself that everyone deals with grief differently and everyone is doing the best they can. But it doesn’t take away the fact that other people get to walk away from the shit (because it’s too hard on them?)(because they are busy?) and you are left to slog through it. Not because it’s not hard on you — it’s the worst thing you’ve ever had to do and you feel like you won’t live through it. And not because you’re not “busy”. You have a life, a child, responsibilities. There is nothing about your life that is more dispensable than anyone else’s.
That’s a lot.
When I say that I hate this move and the packing is hard, what I’m really saying is this:
I hate this move and I DON’T WANT MY MOM TO DIE and I’M SCARED and I can’t stand packing up her sweet, beautiful things or her amazing art because what it really feels like is that I’m packing up her life and putting it away into boxes and I’M NOT READY FOR THAT and I fucking don’t want to be doing it alone. I don’t want to do this alone and I don’t want to do the caregiving alone and I don’t want to be the only one who has to pack up/deal with with her other two houses after she dies. I’m not an only child. And I know she isn’t dead yet, so why am I grieving so much? (a person who has never watched someone they love die would ask…) and the answer is that I don’t have to fucking explain it to anyone. Dying sucks, as far as I can tell. Not knowing what is coming in the next few months (or ever) sucks. (“Oh, but it’s a great adventure!” “No, it’s a fucking nightmare, stop acting like it’s oh so much fun when you have no fucking clue what it is like. Spare me your misplaced optimism.”) Feeling like you’re mostly on your own, about to be orphaned, finding the nerve to ask for help and being told “NO” by people who, at least on paper, are supposed to the the ones you can always count on is DEVASTATING and SCARY and FUCKED UP. So yes, I hate this move and everything it represents and all the pain and sadness it is bringing up and for clarifying that I’m on my own. And maybe that is the “big lesson” in all of this, when it comes down to it we’re all on our own. People rally around sometimes, but in the small, tight, dark spaces, in the nuts and bolts, so to speak, we are all on our own. Maybe that is the reason this whole “relationship with God” thing seems to be so important to people. Maybe that means you’re not all on your own? Maybe it should be important to me. Maybe it is. Maybe I need a fucking drink.
And here’s the thing.
Life is hard. Dying is hard. I’m having a hard time right now, today, in this place. I know that it will all work out. It has to. That is the nature of things. Right now I feel alone. I know that is probably not “true” (but what is?) but that is the truth for me today.
Yes, I’m still seeing the therapist. No, I’m not going to drink myself into oblivion. Yes, I’m harboring some resentment that is no good for anyone, especially me. No, I’m not sorry that I’m writing about it and trying to work it out, even if it is “out loud” and uncomfortable for myself and, probably, other people. Yes, it’s true, I’m still off the antidepressants. No, I don’t think I need to jump back on them right this minute! (But I will not hesitate to if this grief/sadness turns into full-blown depression horror). Yes, I’m going to have a
box of glass of wine. And no, I’m not frantically searching through my drawers to see if I have any “extra” Valium to mix with it.
(I already looked.)
p.s. Mom is having a nice time in Tampa with my sister, her saint of a husband and fabulous grand-daughter. She is enrolled in hospice there and so far that is going well. As soon as I get the house emptied out and turned back over to the leasing people, I will join her in Tampa and then we are (knock on wood!) going to her home in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.
p.s.s. Get this — she misses me! 🙂 And then get this — I miss her too! 🙂