I had a dream about mom last night. It’s foggy now because I didn’t write it down, but I awoke with the feel of her about me. It’s the first dream I’ve had about mom since she died. I lay partially awake, shaking off the feeling that a dream sometimes leaves, the sense of trying to determine what’s real and what’s not.
I also woke twice in the night and didn’t know where I was. That could be partially due to the fact that I was sleeping in the spare bedroom. I sometimes sleep alone for a night or two when I’m feeling a need for sleep uninterrupted by either snoring or the dog shuffling about looking for a place to settle because Ben doesn’t want her in the kennel. When I’m in the spare room, we’ve discovered that Taz will sleep next to Ben all night. But when I’m there, she feels displaced, and is a pain in the ass, so I often put her in the kennel anyway.
When I finally woke all the way, I meditated on grief. And felt pissed off. I suddenly realized that I have given so much of my life to the drama of my father’s death, my mother’s inadvertent but unconcious betrayal, my stepfather’s thievery, and then to taking care of mom and all that meant, including the family dramas.
I’ve given enough of my time, my emotions, my tears, my health and my life. I’VE GIVEN ENOUGH.
Grief, go away.
Is that even possible? Am I just desperate to move to the next stage before I’m finished with this one. Wasn’t that exactly how I felt near the end of mom’s life, wanting to move from relentless limbo to the real thing? Then, I knew I would move into an enhanced place of pain. Now I want to be free of pain.
How the hell long am I supposed to be here? Is there some sort of rule? Or, is this just a bottomless pit?
Maybe scattering some of her ashes in the San Juan Islands and grieving the loss of a family that could never be, and grieving the loss of mom, and grieving the loss of a moment that brought it all to the fore for me, was my closure. Maybe that was the moment when that final bit of withering pain wrenched out of my gut and filled my eyes with bitter tears,..maybe that was enough pain.
Without going into denial and stuffing my emotions and doing the opposite of what grief counselors say you need to do, which is process it and talk about it so that it eventually heals and goes away, or, talk about it enough and feel it enough, that I become “accustomed” to the feeling of loss, or “accustomed” to her absence, or “accustomed,” to what living with grief feels like–can I just let it go? Are there rules?
Haven’t I honored mom enough? Honored her memory, honored her by keeping her stuff, honored her by attempting to bring our family together to take care of her remains, honored her in forgiveness, in making sure she was okay through the last decades of her life? Haven’t I given enough?
I’m tired, too, of still taking care of all the details of mom without resolution. While I feel I should be experiencing closure, the remainder of her ashes remain sitting on my shelf. Five pounds of mom’s remains.
My nephews want to have her ashes made into gemstones. One says we won’t ever be able to get us all together, that a gemstone would be a way to keep her with us. Do I divide the ashes up: 8 oz (which is the amount required for a gemstone) of mom to Australia? 8 oz of mom to Seattle? 8 oz of mom to Southern California? 8 oz to my brother? 8 oz to my sister-in-law? Is that what I’m supposed to do?
Or maybe I just ship them off to my brother and he can divide them up as he sees fit and tell me when to show up in Glendale to inter the remainder of the remains?
Would that free me of this feeling I have that I haven’t finished my job of taking care of mom?
There just comes a point when you say, enough. It’s enough.
Time will tell if I’m in denial.