Did you know that a week on vacation in Hawaii lasts about 15 minutes, while the week between the death of your mother, and her services, lasts about 15 years? That’s how last week felt, at least. Somewhat surreal. Lots of down time, but just overwhelmed by sadness. A good day, followed by a very bad day, followed by a good day. Just a hard week overall. I certainly wouldn’t say that I’m glad that Ted lost his job a few weeks ago, but it has been very helpful to have him around for moral support.
Wednesday or Thursday (weird that I can’t remember now), La Luna came over and gave me a Rieki treatment, meant to be healing and to take some of the pain away from my loss. I’ve never tried anything like that before, and it felt somewhat cleansing. I wasn’t able to participate as deeply as I would have liked, but perhaps it was just too soon after my loss, and if I try again after a bit of time has passed, it will be easier for me. Mostly what I got from it was the feeling of support, and that I was loved, which was very valuable indeed.
Friday, we went to Ted’s parents’ house, where his mom had a puja for my mom. It was a small ceremony, intended to pray to the gods, especially Siva, the destroyer, and Krishna, that they will welcome my mom into their hearts, and that her spirit will find peace. Yes, she was an atheist, and no, she wasn’t even the tiniest bit Hindu, but I gotta say, she would have really enjoyed the ceremony. She loved all things ‘ethnic’, and loved Ted’s family, and would have been very touched. I know I was. I cried so hard that at one point I thought I couldn’t breathe. But since then, I’ve felt much more at peace with her passing. I guess that’s the point of funerals, be they religious or not, that they help you to deal a bit with letting the loved one go.
I’m not saying that I haven’t been sad, that I haven’t cried, since then. I have. But overall, it has been a bit easier since the puja.
Saturday, we had a gathering at my Grandma’s house, with mostly family and a few dear friends, to celebrate her life and come together in our grief. That was very nice, though not as structured as I had anticipated. Which was fine. Mostly, it was just nice to get together with so much family, to enjoy each other, and hear funny stories about my mom in her ill spent youth. 😉 One of my cousins has a new-ish baby (8 or 9 months old), and having a happy little baby to hold and cuddle was a balm indeed, and makes it hard to be truly sad. The hardest part of the day, but also the best, was when Richard arrived. Since he’s in Alaska, and I’m here, this was the first time I have seen him since February, when all of this started. Of course, we’ve talked on the phone, and we’ve emailed, but to see him and hug him and mourn our loss together, was really nice in a sad way.
Sunday was more about me than my mom. My dad’s side of the family came down from Oregon. My dad was here both Saturday and Sunday, but my step-mom, my sisters, and my youngest nephew came down just for the day on Sunday. It was wonderful to spend some time with them, and to hold my baby nephew, since the last time I saw him was Sickmas back in December, when I didn’t hold him much because I didn’t want to give him cooties. Ted’s family came as well, as did Cherry and Eric, and Dorothy and her J. It was wonderful to feel their love and support. My dad knows my mom quite well (obviously), but the rest of the crowd either had spent very little time with her, or none at all. And yet, they all came together to show me their love and support, which meant a great deal to me. My mom was very worried about my sadness the last few times I went to see her, so I know that she would be grateful that I had so many wonderful people here to help me through my grief. I teared up once or twice, but mostly I actually felt happy to have so many loving members of family and friends here. Eric planted my avocado tree in the ground for me, and hopefully it will survive. We have high hopes. My sister Maya and my daughter Maya had a swim in the pool. We all laughed and enjoyed the baby. Oh, and he slept on my chest for about an hour. What a wonderful thing, to have a baby sleep on you like that. It’s been years.
So this morning, the challenge is to try to get back to ‘normal life’. Time for work. Time for swim lessons and Direct TV installation (we hope!) and so on. I need to go through some of mom’s things, and at some point talk to a lawyer. I am supposed to get together with my dear friend Neva for dinner tonight, which will be nice. My sister told me that a friend told her that grief is often like a spiral, with you coming through the phases of grief, thinking you’re through, and then starting all over again. My friend Tracy, who just lost her father a few days before I lost my mom, said that she feels like her grief is like an onion, with many different layers. I think these two analogies are very similar, and very apt, and I don’t expect that just because I have a good day, I’m all done with grieving. I know that will be a very long process. I feel like, for right this minute at least, I’m doing OK. I miss my mom horribly, and I feel her loss in a million little ways. But I’m OK.