Thursday, November 10, 2005

I'm Super, Thanks for Asking

My mom's older brother was too ill to make it to her funeral because of his own health problems (lung as well). As you'll see in her autobiography, they were quite a pair, and he has always been super protective of her. He hasn't been able to talk about her since she died, and with his own health so precarious, Nurse Sis had visited my Aunt and Uncle last week to check in on him and make sure he wasn't thinking about following mom.

Of course, yesterday we got the word that he was back in the hospital with pneumonia and that the prognosis was poor. Nurse Sis flew out today (I dropped her off at LAX and promptly locked my keys in the car at the loading zone. Getting the door jimmied cost the same amount as a shuttle for Nurse Sis would have - go figure.). The cousins and Big Bro will all be gathered at the hospital by nine, leaving me the only relative not there.

By the time I got the news at three pm that Uncle Cal was on a ventilator, all the non-stop flights out were booked. Which is interesting, because beyond the physical limitations of getting to Nevada quickly, I'm not sure I can emotionally handle it. From here I can at least be happy that mom and Uncle Cal will be together soon to take care of each other. But if I was in a hospital room so soon, seeing another loved one go through all the same procedures, the machines making the same noises as they did for mom...I just think I would finally snap.

At the risk of being all Mel Gibson Bad 80s Movie Hero, everyone I love has been dying. It's been a rough two years, losing four grandparents, my other uncle, my best friend's mom, a close friend of the family, all while supporting mom through her battle...I'm tired, and I'm trying to hold it together, but christ, you know? Nurse Sis always says "The more people you know, the more people you know are going to die."

What's worse for me than that cheery thought is that I'm now in the oldest generation of my family. I'm thirty-two, and all our elders are gone. My siblings and cousins are all that's left (assuming my poor aunt can stick this out). Huh? What is up with this mass exodus off the planet? And if something bad is going down, then take us with you, guys.

So sad that it has come to this...We tried to warn you but you didn't listen...So long and thanks for all the fish?


Lynne said...

It's true, the older you become, the more people you lose, and the more difficulties you face, and the more you realize that sometimes life just sucks. You're experiencing the losses, but truly you will have new people, new experiences, and happiness ahead of you.

Hold onto Hero, watch some movies, or read some books, and see those that you love together, arms encircling one another, with Caliope at their feet.

When I worry about what happens when we die, I remember the vivid dream I had of my dad, who came to me with my little dog at his feet saying "I have the little dog" (he didn't know her in life, yet he cares for her now.....that's love)


Lynne said...

Also, don't forget you don't always have to hold it together...let go and scream at the universe and let your greif be heard.

Brookelina said...

I'm so sorry. You are going through a crap time. Four years ago my mother was in the hospital here in Florida for heart surgery and my father was dying in Jersey. I remember my boss walking by me one day and saying, "I don't even know what to say to you anymore." My father passed, my mom recovered, and then a year later my stepfather died.
What is up with the universe?
I'm sure this didn't make you feel better, but just know that there people out there who don't know what to say - like me - but we are still thinking of you sending you love.

Meg said...

If it's too excrutiating to hold it together, let it go. Our society is not comfortable with death, so it doesn't teach us what to do when it touches our lives. Instead, we just internalize the anguish and try to put on a brave face while it eats away at us. I've always admired people who can go to wakes and sob and wail if it's what they need to do -- meanwhile, I'm the one in the corner biting my lip because it's what I "should" do. I wish someone could teach all of us how to deal with loss, because maybe then it wouldn't be so damn hard.

I haven't lost anyone close in awhile, but I know it's coming. My parents are getting older, my friends' parents are getting older...and it scares me beyond words.

So, you're right: enough is enough. Scream, rage, cry, write - but it's okay not to be okay. I know this sounds incredibly trite, and it probably doesn't help, but I've found lately that sometimes the only way to break that cycle of exhaustion and sadness is to let go and welcome the breakdown.

Anonymous said...

It's Heidi, haven't figured out how to post as me but at least i'm not lurking. Shit, girl, that's rough stuff. I think you are right though, you not being able to get there right now is probably perfect. The universe's way of taking care of you. Love never leaves. Have you heard your mom laughing with/at you yet? That's my favorite. Hang in there, go Yoko style and scream it out if you want.

If I had just one more wish, I would like a tasty fiiiiiiiish!

Kid Sis said...

The crappy thing about southern Cal is the beaches are too crowded to scream on.

I think this is the point in the heroine's journey where her psyche splits in two from the pressure, and she develops the alter ego of She-Hulk.


Cyber scream done. Ready for my tasty fiiiiiiish.

Cookie said...

In the past few years, I've lost my mother, my only aunt, my father and my oldest brother.

I completely understand.

Just be very, very kind to yourself. It will all begin to make sense soon enough.

Good thoughts to you and your family and your uncle.