Posted by: chlost | February 28, 2010

Down day

Okay, today is one of the down days everyone tells me I will have.  I am still waiting for one of the better days.  I have been on the verge of tears all morning.  I was rocking my granddaughter, trying to get her to sleep, and talking to her in a calm, monotone voice that puts almost anyone to sleep.  It was working.  Then, the thoughts of my sister, who will never see her grandchildren, came to my mind.  Also, as I was watching the baby sleep, I noticed that her mouth looks very much like my sister’s mouth.  Is that weird?  I started to talk to the baby about daily things, again, just stream of conciousness things, which eventually came to telling her about how much fun she will be having with her sister this summer.  Of course, that really got the tears coming. 

No one told me that grief is physically painful.  I feel a definite physical pain, an ache.  The tears that well up at almost anything, unexpected and unbidden.  So far, I have not embarrassed myself by sobbing at inopportune moments, such as in professional settings, or while talking to random people I run into who are asking me how I am doing.

I am doing okay one moment and not so well other moments.  It all depends on when you are asking. 

I realize that no one really wants to know the details.  I know that they expect to hear that things are okay.  They understand that it may be hard, but they really don’t care to experience my bad times.  They have all probably had some loss themselves, but don’t want to relive it. 

So, here I am again. 

What would I do if my husband or children had died?  Or, god forbid, my grandchildren?  It really is rather selfish of me to be dealing with my sister’s death so badly.  I should be helping the ones more directly affected, like my mother and my nephew.  I guess that is why I am going back to their place to try to do that.  In the meantime, I will probably continue my selfishness. 

I wonder if it shows on my face.  My daughter-in-law’s sister is here.  I wonder if they are discussing how I am doing getting through all of this.  I saw friends for lunch the other day, and they both looked at me as if I were ill.  Am I?  I will be seeing other friends-some of my oldest friends-tonight.  I wonder how I will seem to them.  

I wanted to call my sister today.  Her name still comes up on my caller ID when her husband calls me.  When do I delete her name from my cell phone?  When do I change the address book?

When my sister was cremated, her husband had her cell phone and a credit card, along with personal notes from him and my nephew cremated along with her.  It was, he said, because he knew she would need them to shop and talk on the phone.  That hit me wrong, and I don’t know if I am being too sensitive or not.  But, even though her phone is gone, her name comes up on my phone when the call comes from their land line.  I am taken aback each time I see it.

My dad kept his wife’s recorded voice mail greeting on his phone until he died two years after her death.  It was disconcerting to hear her ask me to leave a message after she had been gone for nearly two years.  But now I understand why he did it.  It is too final to make that change.  When you do that, you have acknowledged that they are gone.  

On a down day like this, that is way too hard. I guess her name will be staying on my phone a while longer.

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