For quite a while now I have felt an urge, perhaps pressure, to express some of the things I have been mulling about. Things that occupy my brain at often most inopportune moments. This. Must. Be…what?
Process below the neck!
My therapist says I should write in a journal. So I went and spent hours at Barnes and Noble to select one that looks nice and suitable. Elegant. Brown soft leather with a brass clasp. I love it. It looks great on my sideboard in my living room. At times, I carry it to my bedroom and put it on the nightstand. Just because. I just don’t write in it. It feels too precious. Yet, I know I have to start processing and resolving my thoughts and emotions. No paper then. After weeks of staring at my journal, full with pristine virgin pages, I thought, a blog may be more suitable. Certainly more type-able. Wait, that’s not a word. Still, my fingers don’t get black marks from my haphazard attempts to refill that classic Montblanc fountain pen I inherited. From my mom.
Ah yes, there it is. My mom. She just died a few months ago, suddenly, and without a chance for me to be there, connect, or finish conversations. Long distances suck. Sepsis sucks even more. Here today, in a coma the next, and gone right after. Forever. Surreal doesn’t nearly describe what the world and life feels like when this happens. “But we haven’t finished our conversation yet!” I kept telling myself. On that Thursday prior, we had a wonderful time on the phone for over an hour. We laughed and ended on a very loving note. Now I fondly remember all the uplifting, fun, and loving talks we cultivated. While we often connected on the phone, the intensity and frequency of our conversations increased over the past year. A daily ritual had evolved: I would get up, grind coffee beans and use my newly discovered French press to brew an invigorating cup of coffee, then call you as you sat down for dinner in Germany. We were in sync. And then we would talk. One of the reasons for the increased frequency of our calls, I am sure, was the death of my dad a year ago.
Oh, yes, there it is. Again. My dad. Also dead. Not by natural causes but by assisted dying after suffering from cancer for almost a year. The disease progressed fast and “quality of life” became a term my father quickly and increasingly valued over long and drawn out periods of “treatments”, suffering, and pain medications. One day he called and urgently asked me to come immediately for “it is time now, I scheduled myself to die on Thursday at 10 am.” Political discussion, jokes, laughter on that very Thursday morning. Then hugs, last words of love and an incredibly terrifying feeling. A few minutes after self-administering his deadly infusion, he died. Life escaped almost immediately. Gone. This moment, this image, still haunts me.
Wait! I don’t want to be alone!
Both my parents dead within a year of each other. I say it out loud often when I am by myself: “I am an adult orphan!” I still feel it doesn’t apply to me. But then there are times when the emptiness creeps up. The inability to pick up the phone and call my mom or my dad. Not being able to share, ask, find comfort. Feeling abandoned and left behind.
You see, that’s the stuff that occupies my brain, burdens my often heavy heart, and certainly painfully punctures my daily life that has derailed like never before. Hence this blog. To liberate those thoughts. Those and others that expand and weigh inside of me. Along with the many and intense emotions.
It gets better
I want to, need to, process and write. But not just the sad parts. I want to include the good stuff too, after all, life has a funny way of interjecting things and reminding you that being alive means to chuckle and laugh too. There are so many wonderful and uplifting memories, moments of kindness, closeness, and joy to cherish and remember. Healing takes place in many different ways. This is one way for me. Because it gets better. I know.