Monday, July 18, 2011

On losing a parent.

My friend Laurel lost her mom recently. I've wanted to reach out to her, give her a little bit of space where it's okay to not be okay. I remember needing that, a lot, when my dad died. It was like the window for me to grieve publicly was closed so quickly, and I wasn't finished being sad yet. But talking about my dad just seemed to make everyone feel awkward, and my mom was in a heap on the bedroom floor, and my siblings needed clean clothes and a hot meal, so I sucked it up. And no-one really told me not to.

Earlier this year, a girl I know lost her husband unexpectedly. I tried to reach out to her. But instead of just letting her be okay, I felt like I was forcing her to open up to me, and that's just not the kind of thing you want to be doing to someone dealing with grief. (Lara, if you find your way here, I'm sorry for getting it wrong.)

You see, I keep forgetting the most basic truth about being human. Which is that we all experience common things in unique ways. I was embarrassed by my grief when my dad died. Fitting, I suppose, since he was the one who taught me that to show weakness was unacceptable. That notion is a heavy cross to carry, and I do what I can to be more human about my weaknesses than my father could be about his.

The thing I've always been good at is giving words to define situations. So often, people can't find their way out of a place if they can't name it, or put into words the way something makes them feel. That's the thing I do, to help people feel better. But Laurel can do that all on her own. And far better than I ever could have done it for her. Which is why I'm sitting here feeling redundant and unable to make a meaningful connection. Her blog is only weeks old, yet I have visited it more than many that have been around for years. It has been cathartic, to say the very least.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

This is not an update.

I'm giving mobile blogging a go. Not because I'm unable to do this on my laptop, but because my office is roughly seven degrees below zero and I'm trying really hard not to cart said laptop all over the house with me. (I have actually realised that this makes the most basic feature of a portable computer redundant. Ah well.) I've been draft blogging, which I guess isn't really blogging at all, for weeks now but I keep catching myself summarising my activities since my last post. There's no bloody life in a list like that.

This past weekend I had my very first night away from Ezra, two nights away, in fact. My mom just about peed herself with excitement when I asked if she would consider having him for a sleepover. She's cool like that. He was not particularly put out by our absence, my mom chose to hide his nursery rhyme book though, following his repeated missions around the house with it, calling for his Dad and Mama to read to him. Too sweet.

And while he was behaving like a completely well-adjusted child, I was a blubbering idiot all weekend. I cried thinking about him, I cried at pictures of him on my phone. I cried in case he was missing me, and more when I realised he wasn't. I took back all those times I had wished for a day off. I wished my weekend away so I could get back to him. It really was quite as melodramatic as it sounds. Gawd.

Fortunately, my husband and dear friends found ways to distract me. We went out for a nice, boozy dinner, indulged in a little retail therapy and hit the beach at sunset for some rad homegrown tunes at the Mr Price Pro. And since our dreams of sleeping 'til noon were shattered by our traitorous internal clocks (which have been bullied into adulthood by 16 months of early morning wake-ups), we borrowed a few helmets and a motorbike and joined in on a breakfast run. It was frikking fantastic. I'm actually thinking of getting my license, although I've got to admit that hanging onto Shane at high speed appeals to me in a way that going solo never could. It's sexy, I won't deny it.

So, what's going on in your worlds?