After putting the baby to bed, I went outside to let the dog out. I had lit a couple of candles on the deck for ambiance and calm. I went over to the edge of the deck to check on Sadie when I noticed my shadow in the reflection of our kitchen window and candles. How large and confident that shadow was. How tall and sure. And that’s when I realized: I want to be my shadow. I long to be my shadow.
Some days are easier than others. Today is in the mediocre category. I woke up to a cheerful household and personal disposition, yet now after the day is done I am somewhat pensive and wistful. When they say that the death of a loved one is like a roller coaster, however clichéd this might seem, it’s totally true. My proof: My “ Dealing with Death setlist” ( for me anyhow):Wow, What in the World is Going on> Wow, Did That Just Happen?> Wow, That Couldn’t Have Just Happened>Crap,That Did Happen, and Piss on Everything because it did and I have to Deal with it All >That Totally Happened, and I get it, but it Still Sucks.
I think it’s harder for me because I had to do it twice in less than a year’s time with two of my heroes, the people who knew me best and closest to me. Currently with Mom I’m in the “ Crap, That Did Happen” category, and with Dad It’s more of the “ Wow, Did that Just Happen” mentality. Psych folks, I get the connection to the Kubler-Ross grief model, and while I used to scoff at models dealing with such intimate, situation-specific and personality based emotions, with this one I don’t anymore. It’s right on, although I do inherently believe that folks bounce around the model like being jostled around in a children’s bouncy castle, or at least I have. Once you think you’ve come to a certain point that you can stand and be stable, some force, whether it be an emotional bully or just your own difficulty of the perfection of emotional homeostasis, you can go back to lying helplessly pummeled by outside forces on that rubbery bouncy castle floor very quickly.
One thing I’ve learned over the past year is the importance of help. Not just of having it, but also of asking FOR it. Friends and family are so important, and over the years I have neglected my tight woven net of pals and kinfolk for one reason or another… and now that I need them more than ever, they are here in droves. I am so lucky and fortunate, beyond what I deserve given my horrendous pattern of not communicating with people. So thank you, folks, and I hope you know who you are.
The anniversary of Mom’s passing is coming upon me. I typed in “us” beforehand and then realized it isn’t an “us” anymore since Dad is now gone as well.... I used to think people who had trouble with anniversaries like this had some thinking to do. “Why haven’t you dealt with it yet” crossed my mind many times… Now that I am in this position… it ain’t what I thought. I remember the smells, sounds of spring… and relate them to last year, mom being in the hospital, me going outside to get some fresh air… I miss her so. And I wish I had Daddy here to help.
Pushing forward… I am still in graduate school to obtain my MSW. I still have a 4.0. I went to part time due to the fact that I now have to deal with an entire estate since Daddy passed away. A few professors at UC have been great at helping me muddle through, glad I got to know them before everything happened, and I’ve made some great friends at school as well.
My inner Laura is slowly channeling the shadow Laura, with the help of family and friends. Thanks and much love to you all.