Wednesday, May 30, 2012

all over the place

so many things i didn't think.  since my dad had been the victim of an overwhelming stroke for almost 3.5 yrs, i thought i'd feel relief for him when he passed.  i did - but i did not expect the level of sadness i myself feel.  i figured i'd gotten used to him being gone.  i think more likely, i harbored some hope he'd 'wake up' and be himself again.

i didn't expect this whole feeling-like-an-orphan thing.  mom's been gone 4.5 years - but seriously, how can one be an orphan at 55?!  yet i'm told it's a very common feeling.  i figured i'd feel relief that they were, to me, reunited now - and i do - but i feel left behind.  and not very compassionate for myself.

i know now i'll remain part of a family with one brother, yet not with another.  and i don't know abt the two of them remaining close at all.  in most families, the parents are the unifying forces.  and the parents are gone.

i feel in 100 pieces all over the place.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Back Home

i've been back to work.  slowly, not really for full days, a step slower.  even thinking slower.  you know what this feels like?  not only the death of my father, but the death of my parents.  maybe because dad was the last parent to die.  but i know that significant deaths bring up all kinds of stuff from earlier significant deaths.  i feel my mother's life/death evolving around me.  she died in september of 2007, almost 5 years ago.  it feels more like now the two of them have gone.  i don't know why, and i don't have to know.

it's absurd, at age 55, to feel 'orphaned' - but that's what i feel.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

the funeral

it's been a long and tiring week.  i went up to NY for the funeral, a crazy 36 hours.  it was a nice funeral, very different from my mother's.  the difference?  my drama queen s/in/law was not there - so it was calmer, more appropriately subdued, and more emotionally connecting.  i didn't realize the type of energy she brought and how disruptive it was until she was absent.  this was the first experience i had with her siblings that was pleasant - because no one had to spend time either avoiding or reacting to her.

i stayed at my brother's, and had a chance to enjoy his family, including a wonderful niece.

my father's funeral was nice - with dignity, respect and love.  the rabbi was great and i think my father would have been pleased.  it was what it should have been, a tribute to him. i'd almost not flown up, afraid it would be like the horror show that was my mother's funeral.

i had the opportunity to see my mother's grave marker, which i hadn't yet seen.  it will be for both mom and dad.  it has a saying in latin over the top of the marker - "love conquers all", and that is a fitting tribute to the two of them. they had a great many challenges to face.  i think my father chose the saying, although it could have been the two of them.

and now, just now, reality is beginning to sink in.  he's really dead, they're both really gone.  it's not emotionally accurate, but at 55, i feel like an orphan.

Monday, May 14, 2012


My father passed away this morning, after a lengthy illness.  I feel very sad, still, kind of like in slow motion.  In fact, that's all for now.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

there's not a much odder feeling than being a motherless daughter on mother's day.  many women in this position are mothers themselves, so it's still a very meaningful day.  i make jokes about it, but being the human mother to animals just doesn't conjure up the same emotions.  and this year is just a touch more uncomfortable because of my father's health, and the possibility that he won't be around for father's day.

it's a day calling out for me to somehow create...something.  to do something with the isolation that kind of conquers it.  right now, today, i don't have a clue what that would look like.  i think i'm doing good by keeping in touch with people, acknowledging the mothers among my friends, calling my mothering aunt to wish her a good day....

my partner is in the same emotional place and she is doing things similar to me, and every now and then we pull ourselves out of our separate spaces and meet in the middle. later we'll spend the evening together and that will be good.

motherless daughter who are also not mothers.......a hard category for  day like today.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Slow Goodbye

My father is slowly moving forward in his leave-taking.  He's far more somnolent than he has been, less responsive to external stimuli, erratically eating and drinking ( if at all).  He has an infection that is not responding to antibiotics, and the terms of his Living Will make more aggressive treatment off-limits.  He's been in a sort of suspended animation for over 3 years - but some new insult to his body happened recently and he's not bouncing back.

It's better this way.  He has minimal quality of life, takes enjoyment in nothing, does not respond directly to any talking, does not instigate goal-oriented behavior.  I believe (or I want to believe) he wants to be with my mother, who passed on a little less than 5 years ago.  He told me many times after her death that he was supposed to go first, bewildered at those times.

I love my father - and I want him to pass from this world to the next, because all that's here for him is a kind of hell on earth.