Wednesday, September 16, 2009

63 Days

Yesterday marked two months, or more precisely, 63 days since my mother passed. Where am I now?

While logic has never played a huge role in my life; I've never really grasped the need for it, it seems so complicated, so unnecessary; I have always enjoyed analyzing and attempting to quantify my emotional state.

Yes, I am a weirdo. Let me state for the record that I am completely comfortable with and in fact not a little proud of that.

So, in the spirit of logically analyzing my state of grief and mourning I'd like to sum up my status at this two month mark. I'm sure we're all familiar with the idea that grief is experienced in stages although "stage" suggests a rational, organized, systematic passage through the grief process and is really, well a completely crap term. It's more like an insane tumultuous roller coaster that sees you flung back and forth between emotions without any real control over your path. At first the ride takes you from highs to lows very quickly and without warning and it's not safe to take your hands off the bars holding you down for even a second. Over the course of riding the thing for a couple weeks you might begin to feel more comfortable with the pattern of the ride and allow yourself to let go and roll with it. When you least expect it though, the roller coaster spins around a new bend you haven't experienced yet and you're back to not knowing what's coming next.

What are the elements of the ride that I've experienced so far? Well there's good ol' denial and shock. I enjoyed denial and shock, that was a comfortable experience. I was riding an adrenaline wave for the first few days. In fact when I look back now, well, I realize I can't really look back. I was so out of sorts and running on a natural high (and wine, lots of wine) that I realize I don't have a clear recollection of this time.

As comfortable was I was with the first phase of things this immediate emotional defense system is becoming a problem for me now as I try to move forward. The next stages are supposed to be anger and bargaining. Here's where things get a little sketchy for me, I'm not sure I've experienced those. I've had some anger aimed at the things that happened the night she passed, the medical personnel involved. I've never been angry with my mother or with the experience of being left behind. This might be because even in her life I couldn't stand to be angry with her for more than a moment. It has never occurred to me to bargain for anything. It seems a waste of energy. She never deserved any anger, from me or anyone. Instead I seem to have moved from the immediate shock and denial to an almost constant state of complete avoidance of the reality of the situation.

I mean, I'm at home packing away my mother's belongings and at the same time reaching for the phone to call her to ask her what to do with one thing or another. I'm convinced she's on vacation and I keep wondering when she's coming back. Every day I think there's one more day down, surely she'll be back soon, I've suffered enough without her. This obviously can't keep going on this way.

Does this mean that two months in I'm still in the first "stage" of grief? Does this just mean that I can't possible quantify or rationalize this emotional upheaval? How the hell am I supposed to deal with this? Someone please tell me when something is going to start making sense again...please?

And this is life, if you can call it that, 63 days later.


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