Friday, January 20, 2006

I'm reading this book called In Lieu of Flowers, talking about death and a conversation with the living. Of course, the author had both of her parents die from Alzheimer's. I can barely read two pages without bawling for the next five hours. It's going slowly, but I think - in the end - it will have been a good idea.

It's interesting how certain things that remind me of my mom (i.e. the film The Notebook) and how I completely lose it when I'm reminded.

I used to take this as a bad sign - as if somehow I would be better off if I didn't feel the way I felt. But that just got tiresome. Is there a point where you say, "Too many tears"? I used to think so, but after four years of mourning, of grieving, I have to believe that maybe it will never go away.

I was talking to a pastor friend in Minneapolis about seminary. If I went, there would be a certain summer where I would work in a hospice or related organization as a chaplain. I would do this 40 hrs/week for an entire summer. He pointed out that I will most likely run into a 50-year old woman with Alzheimer's. How will I handle that?

Then, of course, it comes down to the fact that it's probably okay if I can't handle it. My mom's disease and the fact that she is dying shouldn't be a cause for me to chalk it up as a "well, this will help me deal with death in the future."

In the book I'm reading, she talks about the final eight days in hospice with her mother, and the final day, when she hugged her for what seemed like forever, matching her breathing with her mother's, bringing back what it must have been like when her mother was pregnant so long ago. Life and death, so intricately woven, so connected.

I sit with this book, on the bus going home, tears streaming down my cheeks. How long will I continue to lose myself in thoughts about my mother? How long will she stay alive with this disease that renders her virtually unrecognizable? How long will I devote my blog to this raw emotion that seems to grow inside me as the time passes?

Mourning is just exhausting. It screws with your mind. It tells you that you are just looking for attention. It makes you feel like you are crying too much, or not crying enough. All of the sudden, none of your feelings are valid. You are irritable, and feel bad for snapping at someone. Then you're happy, having a good time, and immediately you feel guilty for feeling happy.

It's like an emotional bitch-slap session.

I don't know. That seems to be the one thing I know for sure.

1 Comments:

At 12:00 PM , Anonymous Katie said...

Mourning is just exhausting. It screws with your mind. It tells you that you are just looking for attention. It makes you feel like you are crying too much, or not crying enough. All of the sudden, none of your feelings are valid. You are irritable, and feel bad for snapping at someone. Then you're happy, having a good time, and immediately you feel guilty for feeling happy.

Yes, damnit. And every grief for someone else brings up everything else. And stupid little things remind you. And stupid little things bother you and bring it up all over again.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home