Sunday, May 18, 2008

May I Be Excused?

I'm full.

This intense mourning thing has brought me to a very strange place. I'm not sobbing uncontrollably or wailing or ripping at my clothes. That's not my style. In fact, since coming home from the memorial service, I'm not much of anything.

I'm still the mom - making lunches, driving kids from point A to point Z and all points in-between, squirting antiseptic on bloody knees and cooking healthy meals. I'm still taking care of the house and the pets and the yard. Still listening to Bubba bounce his business ideas off of me and phoning the insurance company to refill prescriptions.

But beyond that, I am simply full. In a normal week, there is more than enough capacity in the Super Big Gulp that is me to contain difficult stories of friends and family. Tell me about the fight you had with your partner, the sticky issue at work. I'll listen to you talk about your fears and hopes and offer tissues and a soft shoulder to lean on. Let me bring you flowers or an encouraging card or dinner for your family tonight. I've got enough time and I want to show you I care. You are not alone.

This week, someone has snuck that enormous orange paper cup out to the 7-11 while I wasn't looking and filled it to overflowing with my own stuff. I have no room for anything else. I just want to put the lid on this bad boy and carry it home without anything slopping over the side, leaving sticky residue on my pants or my shoes. Once I get there, I'm not sure what to do. I don't particularly want to stick a straw in it. In fact, just taking the top off and gazing into the cup is honestly all I can manage at this point.

I know that there were other people who felt strong ties with my father. I know that there are others who are grieving intensely for him. I just don't want to talk to them. I don't want to hear anyone else's story of their relationship with Dad. I don't want to know how they're coping and I don't want them to ask how I am. I just want to hold this container and look into its depths. I've never seen it full and I can't imagine how it can ever be less than full again.

I'm resentful that the world is continuing on around me. The trees are blooming, commuters head to work and home again day after day, baseball season is underway. Everything looks the same outside but nothing is the same. How is that possible? How can this world look the same without my father in it?

In the meantime, I am deeply grateful for the words of support and love that come my way each and every day. I am using them to insulate my big orange cup. My big, full, orange cup.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your lose, it will get better. Now for that cup, it is time to slowly drain it. Take your time, you deserver it. Scream into a pillow or punch one that always helps me when my cup runs over. It will get better. Love JLN

Jerri said...

It's okay to take stock of and honor your own needs. Use that insulation. Hold onto our words of love and support. Let yourself heal as you heal.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

You describe that feeling well! I know it, intimately! I especially love your sense of the audacity of those around you to go on and pretend nothing even happened! I get that! Totally!

You are not alone.

Be full.

Full is OK.

Deb said...

I'm so glad that you are honoring yourself and your fulness right now. Sending you love and insulation and lots of space.

Anonymous said...

I wish there was a magical recipe to work through grief. It is such an individual process. Respect your fullness for now and know that you are not alone. Sending you love and healing thoughts to you.

La La said...

Blessings and peace to you during this time.

Thora said...

Trust yourself and do not hurry what needs to be.

Jess said...

I absolutely hear you, I know that feeling. Just take care of yourself and be where you need to be.

Go Mama said...

Take as much time as you need to hold "this container and look into its depths," to be exactly where you are without others encroaching on your boundaries.

I came by to read some of your posts since I love your comments on others' blogs. Even in loss, your writing is insightful and beautiful. So sorry to hear about your father. I hope this finds you a little less full now.

Miss Devylish said...

I know this is late.. but you know I've been there.. that exact feeling. It will all come back eventually.. where you feel past this life-goes-on-but-you're-not-moving feeling.. but it's slow. I wish there was some way to have protected you from it my sweet girl.. but I knew I couldn't..and it'd hit you in your own way. Remember I love you and to take care of you right now. xoxo

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