It seems like I have composed dozens of posts while sitting in traffic, but the reality of day to day life has kept me from typing them out. Throughout the past months everything from newsy reports on the girls to philosophical musings have crossed my mind. This has been the most difficult of any grieving process that I have been through. The hardest part is that the world at large has gone on around me, often needing me to be an active participant. It is hard to convince people that it truly takes me longer to do things and grief makes that all the more complicated. It feels like every time I sit down to work, someone comes into my room seeking information, or an ear, or chocolate. I come home grumbling that I need to "turn off the lights, lock the door, and work with a miner's helmet on." The truth is most days I don't mind listening or finding or sympathizing. The other truth is, holidays suck when you have a hole in your heart. It is all I can do to push through for the girls.
There was a period of intense anger on my part. Everyone that I have lost died due to life style choices. That's the harsh reality. It feels like blaming the dead, but it is the truth. Sometimes when it is quiet and my brain has too much time, you can hear a little girl in the back of my mind stomping and yelling "What about me?! Aren't I more important than a cigarette, a drink, more and more food?!"
I have some predictable patterns after death. One of them is the need to make the holidays magical. I am running around creating "memories" and being a general pain in the ass. Of course every time it blows up into a fiasco. I have come to realize this is one of those "outcome based" life moments. As long as you get what you intended (or some semblance), and you have broken no laws or done anything immoral, than who the hell cares how it came about? For evidence of this, simply go to my Facebook page.
Two things have drawn me out of my most recent fog, first, family is coming here for Christmas. Never under estimate how happy planning menus makes me. Now I have a holiday party with my friends, cookies to bake for my neighbors, snacks to make for Christmas Eve, Christmas breakfast, and Christmas dinner. There is a reason that so many people use denial as a coping mechanism; it works.
The other is that Lily got really sick. She had a 103 fever on and off for three days and did not eat for four. I slept next to my furnace of a child and prayed and prayed. Of course my first instinct was to call my mom. I couldn't really seek out the advice of my brother and step-father. They are great guys, but not fever experts. My step-mother is in the middle of moving, so this one fell to me. I dug back through all of the advice that my mother and grandmothers gave me and proceeded forth. I gave her ibuprofen and bathed her with cool cloths. I carried her very large, scared self to the bathroom at 3a.m (and forgot to put on my glasses and bashed my knee in the process). I soothed her raw blistered throat with flat Sprite. I took care of her like they took care of me. She is better now (it was coxsackie virus). I know that I can do this, it won't be easy and it will often be sad (Mom has already missed Homecoming, Lily's first violin concert, Caroline's Academic award, me meeting her boyfriend's parents....). I can use everything they taught me to be the "matriarch." I can make sure everyone has their favorite comfort food, I can listen calmly, and I can fight fiercely. Just like they did for me.