Saturday, July 30, 2011

Letting Go

My mom is now under the ground.  Well, her body is, anyway.  I wasn't at the funeral.  Such a strange feeling, to not be there.  I didn't want to go but most likely would have if I'd be able.  It was actually sort of arranged but fell apart at the last minute.  The funeral was in Illinois and I'm here in New York.  I was fine during the day; beautifully distracted by loving friends who strategically kept my mind occupied.  The night was a different story.

You have to understand about my freakazoid emotions.  I usually have them under control.  I'm pretty strong that way and keep a tight rein on things.  But my emotions are those of a super duper sensitive nut ball artist and sometimes they just go crazy.  Then my whole body has to pay the price.  I remember when I was in second grade and saw the movie "Spartacus" for the first time.  I ran a fever.  That was the first time my temperature skyrocketed over a heart wrenching film but certainly wasn't the last.  I threw up at my one and only college football game.  It was between the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin's team.  The stadium was packed and the emotions were sweltering.  I threw up my entire picnic lunch in the smelly stadium bathroom.  All that rage and hatred just flipped my belly inside out.   I also faint rather easily.  After my brother Ian died when I was eight,  I fainted so often, it was a shoulder shrugging event.  Nobody thought twice about it, including me.  I fainted several times during my marriage to Peter.  I fainted a year and a half ago on Mother's Day, thinking of my son Leland.  Unfortunately, I was at work and panicked the entire staff, who called the paramedics.  It was a mess.  And I fainted last week, two days before Mom died.  Don't know why; just felt really, really bad about how sick she was and toppled.  This is simply something I do. 

Mom's funeral was last Thursday, two days ago.  As I wrote, the day wasn't bad at all.  Quite nice, really; my friend D and I did artwork together.  I had a strange yearning for meatloaf and was starving for the first time in a week.  D treated me to a meatloaf dinner at a local restaurant.  I ate the entire plateful.  She laughed and commented that she'd never seen me eat like that, ever.  I told her that meatloaf had been a favorite of my mom's and Charlie's.  Then she dropped me off at home, where my roomie and I hung out until it was time to go to bed. 

That was when I opened up my email on the computer and saw the photos my cousin and friend had sent me from the funeral.  It was kindly meant; they knew I couldn't be there so sent the photos as the next best thing.  But they hit me hard.  Close-ups of Mom in her coffin, various shots of her grave, freshly dug and right beside Ian's.  Then I thought about my sister's text from earlier that day, stating that Mom's insurance didn't cover even the cheapest funeral and there was no money left for a tombstone.  That's when the trembling started.

For the next twelve hours, I was sick as a dog.  My boyfriend said something wise; he told me it was purging the last six months, maybe even the last four years, and to let my body get rid of everything.  To not fight it.  Not that I had much of a choice while doing my Linda Blair imitation.  Still certain I could go to work, that it would stop at any minute, I lolled about in denial while I sprawled across the bathroom floor.  Finally, I had to face reality and call in sick.  Hate to do that.  Hate it.

But T, my boyfriend, was right.  So were a large number of my friends who nagged me to take time off and rest, let myself absorb this whole thing and give myself time to do it.  One of the things an insecurity addict likes to do is "not be a bother."  Not a bother to anybody.  We hate that or we crave it.  When we hate it, we can be spraying blood like a fire hose and still insist it only needs a Band aid.  When we crave it, we become needy and greedy and slightly repulsive to others, and thus extremely so to ourselves.  I'm a "hate to be a bother."  Whipping my poor battered psyche and exhausted body finally became too much.  They both rebelled and let me know in no uncertain terms how pissed off they were.  Therefore, the great and unfortunate love affair with the toilet bowl.

Deads" as she used to call all the loved ones who'd passed.  I'm sure she's happy.  All I have to do now, is work toward getting that way myself.  And it'll happen.  All I have to do is give myself time.

And never eat meatloaf again.

Love, R

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