Warning: Rant Ahead.
I know: I’ve been quiet lately. I had plenty of posts planned, even as I wondered how to recover from the mass picture deletion.
Then life hit my family like a ton of bricks.
This past Saturday marks a month since my paternal grandmother died. And today marks two weeks since Gram died. Grandma Morryce was expected. Gram was less so, but regarding that I’m either incredibly numb or incredibly at peace. She was tired, homesick, and heartsick. Now she’s home.
And let me say: I hate funerals. Perhaps it’s my Baptist upbringing talking, or maybe it’s the INTP, but I don’t “get” them. Sure, I cried at both of the funerals, but it was less for the person who’d left with a “See you later!” and more for the family left behind and hurting.
I’m sure that about January it’ll really hit me and I’ll feel differently. Maybe.
For my funeral, I want people to forgo flowers (in loving memory of my questionable green thumb) and read a book from an enclosed list of my favorites. I’ll find someone else to fangirl over Digger if it’s the last thing I do. Can that be a thing? And I’m fine with being cremated.
Yes, this is how I process things. This and curling up with a favorite book and my puppy. It disturbs me as much as I imagine it disturbs you.
I’m probably still in shock, because this past month involved way too much for anyone involved to properly process in an orderly fashion.
Grandma Morryce died the day before Mom’s birthday. The day after Jo’s birthday, we traveled to her funeral. Gram died not two weeks before her own birthday, and not three weeks after Grandma Morryce. We were finalizing funeral arrangements for her on my mom’s sister’s birthday, and her funeral was the same day as that aunt’s husband’s birthday.
Later this month, the day after Thanksgiving, is the 10th anniversary of my Grandpa Morryce’s death, and the new year marks Grandma Morryce’s birthday.
Oh, and there’s also all this drama about a clown craze and the elections.
Not that I have the mental fortitude to explain it over and over again to my coworkers, but no, I was not on vacation when I was gone most of last week. I couldn’t tell you the last time I took a vacation.
And you know what bugs me the most? The cookie-cutter responses people provide. “You just have to trust God.” “It will get easier.” “You’ll get through this.” “Be strong.”*
Here’s the thing: I don’t know about the rest of my family, but I’m not doubting God in all of this. I’m not looking for answers. I’m not looking for someone or something to blame. It’s life. I’ve accepted it and I’ve moved on. Both of my grandmothers are happier, and who am I to begrudge either of them of that? Sure, it hurts. Sure, there’s some confusion. But the confusion lies in figuring out how to move forward, not figuring out why this happened.
Maybe I’m an emotionally-distant human being (I’ve been forced into enough hugs in the last month to last me a year), but so what? I think I’m coping rather well, all things considered. I don’t want – I don’t need – well-meaning people’s sympathy.
And one more thing: I’m sick and tired of people telling my mother to be strong.
She’s been strong her whole life. She was the child who was closest to her parents. She took the brunt of the responsibility whenever they had health issues, and when it came time to arrange both of their funerals. She stood by my dad through everything that happened with his parents over the years. She got up close and personal with a lot of things other people ignore in hopes it’ll go away. When everyone else shut down from the shock and denial, she gritted her teeth and kept going.
She took on the mind-numbingly difficult task of housing her ailing mother and coming home every day to do battle with a disease that had already won. She had to deal with what was left of her mother, had to work a full-time job, had to make sure her children and husband were getting by, had to stay in touch with her friends and coworkers, had to find the strength to drag herself to church when she’d rather sleep. Stop telling her to bloody “be strong”. She’s been strong long enough. She’s been the good daughter, the good wife, the good mother long enough. Give the woman a break already.
Sure, my mother’s superhuman, but even Superman isn’t invincible. Even he has to recoup every now and then; and the burnout that forces a superhuman to shut down is significantly greater than the burnout an average being experiences.
Pulling her into a hug, rubbing her back, and whispering, “You have to be strong for your family” is probably the worst thing you could do; offering up some canned line about how grief works is a close second. How about giving us food, even though most of us (not me) aren’t stress eaters**? How about, “I’m here if you need me”? How about, “I’m praying for you”? How about looking her in the eye and telling her she can rest now?
Even though life continues on and she has to go back to work on Monday.
So that’s how I’m doing lately. I made it about 5,000 words into my NaNo novel before I was too distracted to think about it. I’ve tried giving up on NaNo two or three times since then. With 14 days left, I’m considering restarting with a new story (completely off the cuff for real this time), but we’ll see how long that lasts. As for the other challenges of the clothes-buying ban and No Spend Month…yeah, those are no longer in effect.
Currently my only other goals are to finish my Goodreads reading challenge for the year and pay off my credit card (so close!). Come January, I’ll return to saving money and trying to lose the weight I gained from two road trips and stress eating. (Not much, but enough to make my clothes uncomfortable.)
Sorry if I repeated anything from the last post. Moving forward, I may post a little more sporadically than normal until my brain has sorted out itself.
P.S. Shout-out to the McIntyre family: the parents for feeding us, Aiden for being Aiden and also for subbing my class; Calli for letting me come over and talk and cry and raid her fridge late one Wednesday night; and Fay for being my pen pal (I need a hug from you, girl!).
*I don’t really care if they mean well. That’s not good enough for me right now.
** And some of our church family did provide food, which was delicious and greatly appreciated.