Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Right Now

  • I'm feeling pissed off and lonely and whiny.
  • I feel like I have my head so far up my own ass, I might never see daylight again.
  • I really want to watch What To Do In Case Of Fire, but I'd have to get it from Netflix and I won't be able to see it until probably Monday, at the earliest.
  • Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the six-week anniversary of my mother's death. Joy!
  • I wanna go to Disneyland. I haven't been to an amusement park in years and it's been on my mind a lot lately. I am in dire need of some mindless fun.

In any case, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 17, 2008

One Month Yesterday

It's weird how you mark time after a tragedy or significant event, Sunday was one month since my mom died. It doesn't feel like it's been a month, but then also, it does. It's strange because now for me, Thursday is the day she died and Sunday we buried her and Wednesday was her memorial. I know this will fade over time, but it's still so fresh, so present for me, and I'm not dealing with it well. I wasn't unprepared for her death, but I underestimated the impact it would have. I thought I could handle it, I thought my defenses were in place and I was strong, but I'm floundering.
I miss her a lot, much more than I thought I would. I call her cell phone just to listen to her voicemail greeting; I don't want to have it turned off because then even this tiny little part of her will go away too. A friend of hers wrote that Mom was one of her "anchorwomen," someone who kept her grounded, who was always there, and now she's gone. What happens when you lose your anchor? You're adrift, it's hard to stay stable.
I'm suffering because there were things I still wanted to do with her, because I thought there was more she wanted to do. I guess both of us thought we had more time. And I wonder, if she had a grandchild, would she have treated herself better? Sought treatment sooner? Had more of a reason to live? So there's guilt, and anger, and regret. And questions remain, with no answers.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reasons To Go, Reasons To Stay

I know you're not supposed to make any important decisions for like, a year after a traumatic event, but NSA and I were considering this one for a quite a while before Mom died, so I'm not sure if that holds true. And I've never been one to just go along with the rules, which is a good and bad thing.

The Pros and Cons of Leaving SoCal and Moving to Colorado:

  1. Living in perpetual summer gets pretty boring.
  2. This job has been getting to me really badly lately,
  3. BUT, it pays well for what I do.
  4. If I quit, there are about 250 things I no longer have to worry about.
  5. If I quit, there are several major things I have to worry about right away. (Like finding a new job.)
  6. Which might be difficult in this economy.
  7. Closer to NSA's family (both a pro and a con.)
  8. Weather/smog conditions better for both of our health in Colorado, but particularly NSA.
  9. Fewer people.
  10. Colorado is now a blue state.
  11. Easier access to green spaces and hiking/biking trails.
  12. Cost of living is less.
  13. Would need a car, which would probably mean
  14. giving up the scooter.
  15. Moving is expensive, time-consuming and stressful.
  16. Winter is not the ideal time to move to Colorado.

I'm torn, but I think that a Spring move to Colorado is probably the best idea, if I can stick it out at this job for another four or five months. So, what do you think? I would really appreciate outside perspectives, particularly from those of you who have lived/are currently living in Colorado. Please share.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sunday, October 18th, 2008 (part 1)

Because my mother chose not to be embalmed, the burial had to take place relatively quickly. She was a very organic person, and pragmatic too, so the idea of being pumped full of preservatives and laid to rest in an expensive and otherwise useless container was antithetical to who she was. She had told me about my grandmother's death a couple of times; how she had washed and shrouded Gramma's body, how it was very simple and uncomplicated, not particularly awful or gruesome. And so for my mom, I felt that I could do no less.

I realize that this might be shocking to some, indeed, I think the visceral reaction most people, at least Westerners, have to a dead body is to get away as fast as possible. Certainly not to touch, or even look at, as if the mere sight of a dead person might be deadly. And in these modern times, we have such a sanitized way of dealing with things. The websites I looked up for "When a Loved One Dies" were a little helpful, but there was always a line like, "...and then the funeral director will come for the body." And what if he doesn't?

In the days before modern mortuary services, and in places where those services still don't exist, family and friends took care of dead loved ones. They were cleaned, dressed and laid out in the parlor, the special occasion room, until marketing and science took over, and now we have "living" rooms, and hand our deceased over to qualified strangers. All very clean and sanitized and scientific, and artificial and numbing and unreal. But then, reality is often messy and unpretty, unpleasant to deal with, and so I guess it's easier, although, to my way of thinking, drastically depersonalized.

At least I wasn't alone in my endeavor. Mom was quite popular locally, well known and generally well loved, with a wide circle of devoted friends. Very, very devoted friends, as it turns out. There were logistical things to figure out, things that a funeral home would have handled, like a burial permit, and transporting the body. I had hoped that someone who knew her would have felt moved to build a casket, that was what happened when my little brother died, but not in this case. So a litter was built, and beautiful, purple hemp-blend fabric was offered as a shroud, which my mother would have liked greatly. I found a lovely cloth, again in deep pinks and purples, with a tree of life and ornamental birds on it, maybe intended as a wall hanging or furniture drape, that seemed perfect for covering her.

Since it was Sunday and I hadn't been to church since high school, I attended the Episcopal church my mother had been a member of for decades. (To be continued...)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


This makes me really, really happy!!!