Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's been raining and cold and dark for the last two days since we've returned. Unfortunately, this exactly suits my mood right now. In addition to the post-vacation letdown, my life has been filled with other depressing stuff lately. Brace yourself if you read on - it's not a light-hearted post. I've tried to keep all this gloomy sad stuff off the blog for the last year, but it's just come to a head this week and I need to blurt things out.

Last week was the one-year anniversary of my mom's death. The whole year since she died I kept thinking, "I can't wait till a year has passed" because every time I thought of how life was a year ago it would make me sad at how cluelessly happy we were, not realizing what was about to happen. But now when I think of a year ago it just makes me sadder because, contrary to my expectations, though the initial wrenching grief has passed, the deep pervasive sadness that replaced it feels even more oppressive.

Then our family home for the last 40 years was sold, and we've spent the last couple of months cleaning it out. It was fun in a weird way for a while to divvy stuff up, but then the poor house became more and more denuded and sad. My sister said that she had "broken up with the house" emotionally before she moved, and I know what she meant. It's been a sad place since my mom died, and I didn't really want to spend much time there because it was so painful to realize what was missing, but still. Today the new owners (who are the wonderful and warm young family from across the street) move in. I just can't fathom what this new reality will be. I have to drive by the street the house is on twice a day to get Gus to school, so I can't avoid it. I'm trying not to anthropomorphize the house too much, but I have to admit it's soothing in a way to think that a new cycle is beginning and a new family will grow to love the house as much as we did.

I'm just not sure how I can get my brain out of the groove it's been in for the last 40 years - that the house is there, that it will always be there, that it is the safe haven where my family is. Now my family is all scattered or gone, and I'm the only one left in the area. I know that these things are cyclical and that it's time to move on and into every life some rain must fall and all that, but I feel like it's pouring, baby!!

Don't get me wrong - I am extremely happy and contented with my lot in life. I've been remarkably fortunate to have the family and friends that I do and count my myriad blessings every day. It's just all this ding-dang rain.

I'll leave this on a lighter note. This was my first and last meal in Vermont - the Best Chili Dog On Earth (and I would know!), fries and a vanilla milkshake from scratch, courtesy of the Bennington Tastee Freeze. Evidence that life is still worth savoring:


Blogger Liz K. said...

I wish there was something I could say. But I know there isn't. This is a hard road you walk, grieving for your mother, deep sadness at releasing part of your history.

My father died about 3.5 years ago. Whenever we are all together, I find myself looking around, thinking, where the hell is he? How did this happen? How did we get...here? My mom still lives in the house, but his stuff stays mostly undisturbed. I can't decide how I feel when I go into the closet and see his slippers there....

There is no magic "time" that you feel better, but in my experience, things get easier now that you've been through all the "firsts:" the first Christmas since... Gus's first birthday since... the first wedding anniversary without...it is still sad, but it loses its psychic power, its overwhelming sense of dread.

But I still find myself having really crappy days that just creep up on me. Why am I saddest on my birthday? It's my birthday, and my dad is dead.

I wish it gets easier. But loving the dead is just hard, emotional work.


8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm hugging you right now.

and stealing your food.

10:26 AM  
Blogger diana said...

liz - as I said in my email, your comment meant so much to me. Thank you.

jjp - stay away from the chili dog!!!

7:54 AM  

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