Over the years, I've had a lot of relatives die. Some were people I'd never met, some died when I was too little to remember or only have a few memories & one was someone I actually knew well. Now comes another death, the one I didn't expect in the manner it happened: my father. I still can't bring myself to call him "Dad" but I can call him "George" as my mother referred to him (no part of his name is "George" by the way; my mom's just eccentric--part of the mystery is solved, I know).
I've lost aunts, uncles, my grandmother & the most recent big one was my brother in law weeks before I was accepted to law school. That one was particularly bad since he & my sister had only been married a few months, she'd just had their first child (who was 3 weeks old & had bonded to his father in the womb) and he would have been eligible for health insurance in a few months.
My parents just got out of bankruptcy & my mom was happy he was getting a full paycheck. He'd just recovered from a knee injury & to talk to him, you'd never think of him as "old" or "boring." He hated the slow drivers on the road just like everyone else. He wasn't even 60 years old & this happened. The doctor said apparently this kind of thing happens often; people just drop for mysterious reasons, slip into comas & don't recover. If it happened to my father, I wonder, what's to stop it from happening to anyone else? Me, you, the guy down the block? We're not promised tomorrow. He's now been declared brain dead & they're only leaving him on life support until I can get there to say goodbye.
I already learned about the fleeting nature of life after my brother in law (my sister's first husband) died. I just wonder why the fuck God is pissing on my family. It's been that way forever for them; what the fuck?!?!?! Since when is my mother Job? She and my sister are totally devastated over this. I've been emotional over it but not sure if it's just the tragedy of the whole thing or actually caring. I definitely know it's not making life easy on my mom. Father's Day & major holidays are going to be a total bitch, even for me not living there. At least we had last Thanksgiving, I keep telling myself.
This "praying" stuff also bothers me. God is the one who decides it's your time, right? It's infallible & set in stone. So what good does praying do? You can hope, you can try to be optimistic but there's the element of realism to consider. If your number is up, isn't prayer just a waste of time or is it like getting clemency from the governor or something? Guess I'm also getting crotchety about it like the hard core atheists. I've known people are just saying it to be nice but I'd rather you just say you're thinking of me or sending good vibes my way.
A few things about my grief process:
1. I don't eat much. I wouldn't be shocked if I lost a bunch of weight if my mom or sister died. Really, I wondered why people kept giving us food when my brother in law died since I had no appetite? I figured drugs would be better: something to make you want to eat or not feel depressed would be the ticket. Note I didn't say illegal drugs since there are legal drugs that can do this stuff.
2. I won't want to cry but when it hits me, it hits in a huge way. Last night, it hit hard when I was telling people I was now going down there to say goodbye. It also hit hard when I saw my cat Oswald (we thought he was a girl but when the vet said he was a neutered male, Ortensia became Oswald). George will never get to meet him. When my brother in law died, it hit me when I was in my supervisor's office & realized that my oldest nephew would never know his dad. At least he's got my sister's second husband now & he's been a good Daddy to him.
3. I can't be surrounded by it 24/7. I need respite from time to time, hanging out & interacting with people who have nothing to do with it i.e. not related to the person who died & suffering the same sense of grief or worse than me.
4. I need human contact. Ideally, someone to hold me who won't let me go before I say so. Now that I have him, my husband is ideal for this but a guy friend who won't try taking advantage will do in a pinch. I'm upset my husband can't be with me until the funeral. That will be tough. Yes, I did get laid the night my brother in law died (with an ex I happened to run into that evening; it lead to a brief reconciliation) & that's one reason I need my husband with me now. I don't dislike sex anyway but in grief, I crave that human contact & that connection. You need something to counteract the pall that comes over you. It's in your stomach, your throat, your face, your movements; it's like you're wearing a heavy cloak you have no clue how to remove.
5. Don't pray for me. Say you're thinking of me or sending me good wishes but don't try to convert me or tell me about how great Jesus or God are. Spare me the sermons. You aren't going to convince me to go back to the puritanical Baptist faith I ran from.
Yeah, I'm damn upset right now. I'm not in a good mood & crossing me is bad enough on a normal day. This is rage times a trillion. I'm also not very happy with people who've been told about it who've said not a word to me. No "I'm sorry" or "Hope you feel better" or even "That sucks." I think I'll be cleaning some house when I get back to town. You don't get to be a "friend" in my life when you can't even acknowledge that my situation sucks.
I've reached out to people more on things, remembering what my mom says about how if you want friends you have to show yourself friendly. Well, I figure you can't call someone a friend if you never give them the opportunity to actually BE a friend to you. Me talking about this is most definitely the opportunity to show me what you're made of in that sense. Are you a friend or are you worse than a stranger on the street? Most strangers have at least enough compassion to feel bad for you if an immediate family member is dying or dead. The hospital is also apparently damn anxious to pull the plug before I get there. I told my mom to ask them why they needed to do it this second when I wasn't going to be there at 3 a.m. If they want to get on my bad side, I said they can go right ahead & see where that gets them. I think I deserve my goodbye time considering I never got that with my brother in law.
Not sure which is worse: instant death or this waiting around stuff. I think waiting around seems worse since it's false hope & all this build up only to get disappointment in the end. At least I know the things to ask my husband about & tell others of in case he goes first. I also worry this will kill my mom from depression. Studies show that dead people's spouses usually die not long after the dead person died. We're just too young for this.
I warned my husband my family lives to their 60s & my father didn't even get to 60. No one will live long enough to be a burden but still. It just sucks all around.
I know I'll be shitty company for a while but frankly, I don't give a damn about that. Talk to me when it happens to you if you've got a problem with it.