Sunday, September 29, 2013

How to Grieve

I should be so good at this by now, but some days it hits me in waves. We had Mom's memorial service today and it was perfect. Just the right sort of service for my mom. I was so surprised and touched by how many of my friends came. I was also so surprised at how many family came from so far away. Big family events are hard when you are shy and really bad at small talk. Let me write you an essay and we are on. Expect me to track a conversation and ask the right questions and not so much. The girls are the same way. In the car on the way we practiced what sort of questions they'd be asked (How are you?) and the correct response (I am ok. Yes, Gramma was amazing). I wish that I did not have to give them etiquette lessons in grieving. For being so emotional, when it comes to public settings my kids can either be stoic or try to hide/blend in.

For me the hardest thing is I can't call my mom. The very first thing that I wanted to do after the service was call her and tell her all about it. I used to call her when I was making dinner or stuck in traffic. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that there are going to be dozens of small occurrences everyday that I can't share with her.

The crummiest thing, is even if you wish it would stop, time marches on. Before you know it it will be time for Caroline's Homecoming and Lily's violin recital. All of these things will happen without my mom. I just keep thinking of the following poem by W. H. Auden. I can write all of the eulogies in the world and tell people that I am ok (because ultimately I am) and I am supported (which I am), but sometimes I just want to shout:

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message 'He is Dead'.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

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