Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How To Grieve

Dictionary.com has this to say about grieving:  1. lament, weep, bewail, bemoan; suffer. Grieve, mourn imply showing suffering caused by sorrow. Grieve is the stronger word, implying deep mental suffering often endured alone and in silence but revealed by one's aspect: to 
grieve over the loss (or death) of a friend. 

Seems fairly accurate.  I would say that right now, I am indeed experiencing deep mental suffering, and I feel very much alone.  I am grieving because my mother has incurable cancer, and the cold hard reality of it is that she likely won't live much longer.  Already, I miss her.  I miss her mobility and her energy and her laugh and even her anger.  I grieve that she wasn't able to be here when Wednesday was born.  I grieve that she wasn't able to care for me after the birth.  And yes, I am angry at myself for how selfish that sounds, but it's true.  I want my mommy.  I want my mommy back and I want her whole and I want to be her little girl forever and ever. 

But I don't know if I am grieving properly.  And I know that if someone said that to me, I would immediately say "There's no wrong way to grieve!", and I would truly believe that.  For them.  But I feel like I am doing a poor job of it.  I'm weepy a lot.  Tonight at Gilda's Club I was a sobbing mess.  People close to me have been implying that I am taking this too hard, that I'm not dealing well, that I need to suck it up.  I'm starting to wonder if they are right.   I want desperately to focus on the positive and live in the here and now and make each day that my mom has into a celebration.  But I don't know that she wants that, and I don't know if I know how to do it.  I was thinking earlier that it has been almost 5 months since her diagnosis, and there was a point when we couldn't even imagine that she would be here by now.  So I know that every day really is a gift.  But I just keep thinking about how there are only a certain number of those gifts left, and one of these days, she just won't be here anymore.  Of course, as another group member reminds me, she could also get hit by a bus tomorrow and cancer might not have anything to do with it.  Or I could get struck by lightening. It's just that cancer makes it seem more definite.  Because it is.  

How do I make this time that we have left into something to hold on to?  How do I do that without annoying the crap out of her with being Suzie Cheerleader?  How do I learn to grieve properly, so that I can accept the sadness?  How do I focus on the positive when I don't feel like there IS a positive?  My mom is dying, how the fuck can there be a positive in that?

I miss the way things were.  I just want another week of the way things were, even if the only difference then was that I didn't know my mom would be dead soon.  Maybe that's it.  Maybe I am grieving the loss of ignorance.  I want to go back to a time when I didn't have to wake up every day and stare down the fact that I will be a motherless daughter sooner rather than later.

I want to go back to when my mom looked liked this, and was happy and smiling and helped me get my pregnant self ready to marry the love of my life, and then took care of my son while I honeymooned.  

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