Posts Tagged ‘guilt’

Ashes to Ashes

Mom’s body is most likely being cremated tonight…tonight or sometime this weekend, right near me on St. Mary’s Street. I know it’s just her body and that she’s not there anymore, but it’s still very difficult to think about. I hate that she’s been alone so long…alone and cold. Well, I guess she does have her two little white stuffed poodles with her. 🙂

I’m sure everyone in these types of situations eventually finds something to feel guilty about. I know dad does…he’s very good at it. Me, I’ve been struggling with the fact that we gave mom morphine. My mom was so straightlaced that she refused marijuana, even when her major symptoms were nausea and lack of appetite. She never liked taking pain pills, even when she was in severe pain. Dad and I both hated giving those to her because they made her so confused. And I hate that I had to give her morphine at the end. She wasn’t in any pain, but her breaths came so fast and her heart was beating so rapidly…hospice said the morphine would help her slow down and breathe. I don’t know if it did. I don’t know if all it did was make her confused and feel trapped. I know that there’s no way to know and that we were all just doing the best we could, but it’s my biggest struggle right now. I hope I did right by her. I hope it was the right thing to do.

Besides that, I’ve just been struggling with struggling. It’s almost as if I have to be strong for everyone else so that everyone else can feel his or her grief. I was talking with dad last night about how I’m making a conscious effort to be compassionate. I know that all of mom’s friends and family members are sad and grieving for the loss of someone so wonderful. I know there’s this desire in each of them to express that sadness and grief to me…whether to commiserate, or to express their love to mom and to us, or to just share their feelings with someone who understands. It’s a bunch of hurt people trying to do the best they can, really. That’s all it is. But it doesn’t leave any room for my grief. I think that dad and I will have to work at being sounding boards for everyone until after the funeral, and then, when the quiet settles over us, we will have time for our own feelings.

Plus, geez, planning this funeral…it’s just very, very hard. I’m glad we have the help of mom’s best friend in planning the reception (and in planning parts of the service, too), but it’s just constant, all day, every day, something every minute. Something needs to be found for someone, or sent somewhere, or some decision needs to be made, and on and on and on. What music? What goes in the bulletin? What format for the obituary? What picture to put by the urn? Do we have a stand for the picture? Who’s handing out the bulletins? Will there be flowers? What kind of food? What were mom’s favorite Bible verses? Who’s speaking, and on what and when? This is another reason that there seems like there’s no room for our grief: there hasn’t been a single moment of downtime since Monday evening. And dad also has to deal with settling the estate, getting finances in order, sending death certificates to everyone, etc.

Dad and I are both taking tomorrow off. We both have a lot of stuff to get done around our own houses, and sometimes it’s just nice to shut everything else out and get everything in order.

So am I doing okay? Not really. I started this morning (pretty literally; the phone didn’t wake me up, but I was still in bed) talking about funeral preparations, followed it by continuing a month-long argument with the NC DMV call center about a non-existent lapse in liability coverage for three days in 2009 (when I’d switched plates to WV), then called all my insurance carriers to see if they could fax over the information *again* since the NC DMV seems to have ignored it, cleaned up my screened-in porch because the apartment complex is power-washing next week and needs everything clear, did more funeral stuff, wrote and submitted an assignment for school, worked out, got a haircut (and thus didn’t get lunch), got snapped at by my ex because he’s been working long hours (because all I do is sit around all day, obviously), then went by the grocery store and then to dad’s house to cook us both some dinner (probably the best part of the day; dinner was good). Every day is like this. I’m exhausted. I’m glad my company gave me a week off, but I feel like I need a month to deal with all this, and THEN I might need an actual vacation.

Right now, I’m going to take a shower and then eat some ice cream. Then I’m going to bed. And maybe, like dad suggested, I just shouldn’t pick up the phone tomorrow. That sounds wonderful.


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