Disconnected February 23, 2014
Grieving and Parenting
I awoke at 4:30 from a bad dream in which something sinister was going to happen to Sophie. I awoke afraid, wary and with body grief. I tried to go back to sleep but I felt too upset. I also knew that I needed to get up at 5:30 to get Sophie out the door by 6:00 am for a soccer game. I finally started to cry around 5:20 and if I hadn’t needed to get up that might have let me get enough stress and sad out to fall back to sleep but with only 10 minutes to go, I had to stop crying and just get up.
Sophie awoke easily. Got herself together and we were ready to go quickly. I mentioned to her that we needed to pick up one of her team mates and she burst into tears. I have relied so heavily on others to make soccer happen for Sophie that I was eager to offer to drive other girls and let their parents sleep. I hate always needing help and being unable to return the favor. I know I wouldn’t mind if I was doing it for someone else in my situation but I still hate it because I hate WHY I need the help and I cannot emotionally separate the two even if I know it is illogical. So she is crying because she likes the private time in the car with me and she doesn’t want to socialize with anyone and I am frustrated because I am trying to do the right thing but in doing so, I have upset her and I think, “fuck!!!!!!”. It is 5:50 am and the energy and emotion that is swirling around the mundane task of driving to a soccer game is going to bring me to my knees. Grieving and parenting. This is why it is so hard, this what a grieving parent goes through just to get out of the door in the morning. Then the phone rings and the girl I was going to drive is sick and I don’t have to pick her up. Sophie now feels guilty. I hug her, tell her it is alright and we get in the car.
Disconnected. I sat at the soccer game and chatted with another mom. She is very friendly. I like her but we have only a superficial relationship. On the other side of me sat one of the father’s of another team mate. I don’t know him so after saying hello, there was no conversation. I hurt while I sat there. Grief roared throughout my body and my mind. I hurt so much I couldn’t believe sharp daggers weren’t shooting out of my body. There should have been heat waves emanating from me. There should have been howling shrieks making the other parents plug their ears. I sipped coffee and chatted and watched the game and cheered while I struggled not to cry. Every last bit of me hurt with grief and I couldn’t believe that no one could feel it pouring out of me. I have become too good at faking it. It is so isolating. Fake it till you make it is not working for me.
We came back from the game, made breakfast and a dear friend who moved away recently stopped by for a few minutes before I had to drive my mother to the train station. Later, I took the girls to the zoo and it felt so good to be outside in the sun. We saw the baby panda and walked and walked and laughed and felt happy together. We were happy. We had our moments of “normal”.
I confide in no one and I think the façade I put up is too thick. The girls are doing well and we manage and I think we look good on the outside. They are doing well. It is just me. I am connected to them and that is the most important connection I can have and apparently the only one I can truly maintain right now. But I am too alone and it is too hard to let go with anyone. I read about others who talk about their dear friends and family who sit with them while they cry and I have loved ones who would do that for me but I can’t ask for it.
I think that with all the pain I do feel, I cannot reach the real depth of my grief. I think that is why I have so much physical pain. I am always holding back. Afraid to let it rip. Ron told me, “you can’t fall apart, the girls will need you. You can’t fall apart”. He looked at me so seriously, so intensely. He wanted me to assure him that I would not break apart when he died. Getting near the two year mark and I am back to feeling shocked and cannot believe this happened to Ron and to our lives. I am not going to fall apart, Ron but this is harder than you’d ever have thought.
Enough. Sometimes I just don’t think I can do this anymore and the kicker is that I do not have a choice. What is “this”? Living without him, parenting alone, trying to figure out what to do next, being responsible for every single decision, being alone, being no one’s priority. When people ask me to start planning things for them or make decisions for them I just go limp. I would love for someone else to plan our days, our weeks, my career, the girls’ schools, the house, the car, the yard. It is so much. Too much. What am I supposed to do? Just do the next right thing. Right, that is what I am supposed to do. But it is so fucking overwhelming. The next right thing would be to try to calm down and go to sleep. Maybe if I could get out some more of the grief I could sleep. I just need to sleep. For this minute, for right now, I just need to sleep.