Friday, September 02, 2011


me again. i SWEAR i will make it up to you one day. i PROMISE.

all right, so we don't need to recap do we? regular readers know about 'the year of my loss' and for those who don't, check the 8th season DVD (still in progress).

okay, so it's a bit of a recap. call it a rerun. it's me. no dead horse left unbeaten. it's what i do.

so. i've made much of trying to move with and in and past loss and change. at least with the house. my father is so freshly 'gone' that i understand there is a process there. steps on the path. stages of grief. last night i think i was in stage #546 PEOPLE ANNOY ME WHEN THEY ARE IN MY EYESIGHT OR WITHIN EARSHOT. WHEN THEY BREATHE.

it's a real step. look it up.

anyhow, so there's a lot here. a lot going on. some days i am so close to tears i can taste them even as they don't fall. some days i just try to keep my mind occupied, my loss and grief in the abstract. most days i just wish for a break and carry on. did i mention it's been a tough year?


so yesterday.

wingman and i decided to get out of the house and walk down to get a slice of pizza. it was the end of our school week (we don't have school on fridays. ask me who's idea that was. ;) ) and what a weird week, two weeks, it had been. death, grieving, the duke no longer at home with us.

so much change. so much 'muchness.'

i swear wingman and i catch ourselves staring at each other, like empty-nesters. looking at each other, looking around, wondering what in the hell just happened here? for the whole time i've been homeschooling and wingman has been homeschooling the duke has been *here.* and now, it's just the two of us. just like that.

okay. it's NEVER 'just like that.' but you get the point. and really, when things finally happen, even though you know they will, it still feels 'just like that.'

anyhow, we needed to get out of the house. so we headed down the hill. wingman was chattering on about the thing that gives meaning to his life, link and the legend of zelda, and i was just amazed at how fine a day it was. the weather had finally turned for the better, the sky was blue, the clouds amazing.

and i know this sounds an AWFUL lot like other walks i've described, but i swear to you after a block i had to literally

what was that?

i realized that it was so silent. in my head. in my heart. my gut.

there wasn't any buzzing or squeezing or continual knot tying.

it took me a minute to define it. and then i realized it was...calm. joy. relaxation. peace.

what is this? did someone slip little white pills in my trying to stave off an ulcer (true story) probiotic drink that morning?

'c'mon mama!'

i started walking again. and it felt like i was hi-IGH. like 'knocked up' seth rogan high. like this is fucking awesome.

here's the thing. i lost my house. yeah. but, and it doesn't make up for it but it's amazing nonetheless that when we lived on the farm i could NEVER EVER in a million years decide we needed to leave it right then and there and get a break and just put on our shoes and just leave out the door and just take a walk. and here we were. just heading out the door. taking a walk. wingman was trucking along, in a neighborhood he's getting really familiar with, saying hello to his favorite dog, thinking about his favorite slice two blocks away. we'd walk to the library after. and he was humming. the whole way.

and the buzzing and knot tying were gone when my father died. the past few months have been hell wondering when and if that phone would ring. bringing more bad news, no news, stasis, crisis. every day there was potential for absolute heartbreak. i knew the proverbial shoe would drop, but when? and not before kicking my ass first.

it was incredibly painful, crazy making, stressful. *refer to the ulcer above.

so here i was. knowing that was a hook i was no longer on and i could really and truly just enjoy the afternoon. for the first time in a long time. it was incredible.

and i started thinking about loss and its impact. how hard it is to bear. how much havoc it reeks. and yet. there is that point when the benefits show themselves. you've just got to be able to see them. and pull them into the process. because it can't be all about the loss. that's why it's a process.

a process that brings you to the good stuff. a process that HAS to include loss.

i literally hadn't been this relaxed in a very long time. we sat outside. wingman eating his slice.

(me with my almost ulcer NOT eating a slice. along with a blander diet, there is no alcohol or caffeine or ibuprofen. okay i cheated last night with a glass of wine after i ate. but i swear, really? no alcohol? i e-mailed the husband and i said

"no wine for awhile while i heal this ulcer. what will i do with all that free time? take up knitting? porn? "

he said knitting was too dangerous and voted for porn.)

okay, so we were sitting outside and wingman was eating and i was just...there. without the buzzing and squeezing and churning. just.there.

and i know there are ways to achieve this feeling by manufacturing the relaxation. and those are fine too. for a minute. constant whiskey and putting 'the boxer' on repeat helped the first few days after my father died. my doctor offered tranquilizers. she offered it all. i declined.

the worst moving across country road trip imaginable helped after losing my house. there's no way to feel pain when every day for 8 days is a fresh kinda road rash hell. complete with blizzards, police pull overs, and freshly severed deer heads. by the time we landed i was exhausted and still had to keep steady. for the boybarians, the family, the cats, the future. no shrugging for atlas.

(yes. the cats. who wants 4 fucked up cats? not me.)

so finding a break from the pain that is neither breaking me down or addiction worthy, even if just for an afternoon, is amazing and welcome.

because some places of peace you cannot stay in.

okay, this is an old story, you've heard it before, but bear with me a moment. when i gave birth to the duke i almost died. i had been in so much pain for so long. 36 hours of hard labor, 3 hours of hard pushing, no drugs, etc. etc. when my behemoth son emerged it was too much loss for my body to absorb. so, i started to bleed. it was as if someone turned on a faucet in the yard. and i bled more than the normal human (not pregnant) has in their body. and i floated up to the ceiling and watched the scene below.

god. i felt so good. so warm. so peaceful. it was easy, now. no more pain. i could observe the scene below without being the main attraction. big big sigh. big smile. but there was a problem. and the problem was that i saw the husband in the corner holding the duke. watching me bleed. watching me fade. watching his world fall apart in front of him.

the problem was that i was up on that ceiling alone. and i knew that that feeling of being absolutely pain free was ultimately false. because NOTHING is pain free without a price. ever. and i grabbed a fireman's hand and yanked him to my face and said

'look at me. talk to me. do not stop.'

'uh. okay, who's the president of the united states?'

'george clinton.'

'close enough.'

and then i knew i was saved.

cue the p-funk.

so i KNOW there is a way to be pain free. but there are a lot of ways to achieve it without bleeding out and floating up. and choosing to stay there.

i don't want to escape the pain only to end up in my own private idaho. so i took yesterday afternoon as my parting gift and absorbed it as much as i could.

of course by the evening my afternoon of peace gave way to melancholia and irritation and wondering if i would ever not be sad. about it all. *refer to grief stage #546 above.

lather rinse repeat. process. blah blah blah. so in life loss is inevitable and yes, necessary. you have to go through it to get through it. to understand. and to accept. and to benefit. and you just do it as long as you need to. it gets better and worse and better again. but it goes forward. in its own way. yours is to recognize it moving forward. however that presents itself.

and that whole thing about all you need is love. and only love prevails. i believe those. with all my heart. i also know that it's not as easy as all that. in the end, sure. but in the meantime? in the meantime it's two steps forward and one step back. it's messy and complicated. it's heartbreaking and crazy making.

and it's funny. because when you're in the thick of a situation that's so FUBAR you can't imagine it can get worse, and then, of course, it does, and you are so scared. you are in so much pain. you can't imagine ever feeling better. and then, you do.

just like that.



gerg said...

Great post XLC. This reminded me of a an event that occurred a long time ago.

When I was in Africa I did a lot of free diving. After a while of doing this you eventually lose your suffocation reflex. Once I was down for a bit - aka alot - too long. Probably 4 minutes or so. I was at about 50 feet below the surface and I was partially in a cave. The kelp in Africa is like huge trees that sway back and forth with the strong currents that produce S. Africa's world class waves. The same thing happened as what you described. I felt warm, everything became more silent and I was at complete peace. For a few seconds or more I had decided to stay down there and escape a somewhat confused existence. Needless to say I snapped out of it and quickly swam to the surface. All you need is love. You are right, and I had that. But I'll never forget that feeling. I'm just glad I had others around that loved me and who I loved back to snap me out of it.

Thanks for sending me back to the ocean for a little :).

x. said...

my pleasure :)

Lone Star Ma said...


Wendy said...

'he said knitting was too dangerous' He may be right. xoxo