Friday, November 13, 2009

Three Days Standard Bereavement



Eight years ago today, I sat in a room in Palo Pinto County Hospital watching my mother die. She didn't go gentle into that goodnight and anyone who says death is peaceful didn't know Mother. Even in a coma, she managed to put up a good fight and when my sister was praying that she live, she sat straight up and said No and then fell back into that unreachable place. I can't imagine the courage it took to say no to her favorite person in the world, to insist that this was it.

After it was over, the leaden feeling came, that strange sense every grieving person gets -- time has stopped and yet life continues. Standard bereavement leave -- three days. All the cliches about time healing, about letting go. God forbid you wallow. This society doesn't do wallowing so instead we drink, drug, cut, starve, gamble, eat, and everything else you can imagine to avoid the pain. And that's fine as well. Not everything can be faced directly, like a suspect with a bare light bulb swinging in his face.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Nothing we truly love is lost, no matter what form it assumes." Mary Karr

Cocktail Hour
Cheesecake soon, my darlings!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Friday!

7 comments:

jodi said...

Hi Honey, I cannot imagine losing my Mother, altho I know it is inevitable. People want so much to help that the things they say can never come out right. I think we should just say "go ahead, feel awful, and grieve in the way that makes you feel best." I will try to remember that. Enjoy your weekend, doll.

DJ said...

I've tried that drinking away problems fix. All it does is get me drunk, then I remember what I was drinking for and the hangover gets that much better.

If nothing else, that is really nice dress you're wearing in the picture.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm reading a book called "The MacDonalization of society" and he talks about the macdonalization of bereavement, about how we try to fit it into our fast paced world. This post reminds me of much the same thing.

Anonymous said...

A COMMENT HAS STUCK WITH ME THAT IS INDICATIVE OF OUR CULTURAL THINKING. "EVERYONE WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN BUT NO BODY WANTS TO DIE."

Whitenoise said...

I lost my father this summer, I know how you feel. The last week was very tough- big, expensive machines in a cold, impersonal ICU. Sitting, waiting, not knowing, trying to be supportive in a hopeless situation.

Someday we'll all be dead. Hopefully by that time each of us will have made the most of his or her short stay on this rock.

the walking man said...

The heart feels what the heart feels and nothing more need be said about it by anyone. You do what you do and to hell with "society"


My favorite was my father in law, after a 6 months long bout of liver cancer he sat up in his bed and said "fuck 'em all" and that was that.

Laura Benedict said...

Wow.