Saturday, August 19, 2017

Danger There's a Breakdown Dead Ahead

I remember asking years ago how people know if they've had a break down because I was pretty sure I'd had at least one.  If they don't end up in the loony bin it may be similar to having a stroke.  You can have one and not realize it until much later.  As I look back on July I think possibly I had a micro mini shut down.  I lost a brother from a distance, witnessed dying via text and phone, pictures, a horrible way.  To be so damn useless to someone is gut wrenching.  He was going through so much, with loving family mind you, not alone, but in the end how much can anyone really go with you in the pain, the fear, the discomfort.   I have never showed signs of being an empath before but suddenly I felt like a barnacle on the side of each griever.  I grasped the deep sense of loss in my sister in laws eyes as if she'd handed it to me to feel the weight.  The sorrow only my older sister could know sending her little brother over.  My dearest sis who called him her good friend and had a strong bond, I could not even bare to hold her lest the damn break.  And everyone, the grand kids, the aunts.  It's as if for that brief period I was in their shoes one at a time.  I had never truly went through an entire Catholic funeral for someone I loved, experiencing a wake and seeing the body, the open casket, touching his hands.  That was tough enough but this new sense of ascribing to these folks in mourning was overwhelming.  Not to mention being in an instant social situation with family members and people that I knew from childhood.  For an introvert like me that threw my whole being into a state of shock.  I left Fort Wayne 34 years ago and even though we've traveled there a few times, I felt like this was my first time back as a sister, an aunt, maybe an adult.  Seeing my old house with my sister and niece brought on all kinds of emotions.  Then a week later I traveled to Tucson to visit my folks but of course that is never an ordinary visit.  My mother was showing signs of deserting reality for good.  Yes, she's been doing that for many years but you'd be so surprised at the levels, the depth of someones leaving.  She stood staring comatose for much of the first afternoon and before the trip in videos and pictures I had seen. I expected the worst.  It was amazing just how much she perked up for us, a little gift.  But she told me she was so tired and looked at me straight in the eyes as if she was saving up her clarity to get that one message out.  Its as if she can't find her way out of this life. It breaks my heart.  I want her to stay but also want her to find rest and peace. My sister and I were to provide some respite for my dear niece who is pregnant and looking after our parents.  My dad had just lost a son. I figured we would need to be upbeat for him but also comfort each other as this would probably be our only visit with each other for who knows how long.
I'm recovering now, almost two months later.  But I hope to take with me the extra caring and compassion I felt at that time, the ideas to be more considerate even from a distance. And gratitude, so much gratitude.   As always, I'm a work in process as we all are but I want to strive for movement in the right direction.

Green Grape Organic Rotisserie Chicken again this time with butter beans and rosemary and a brussel sprouts salad with mushrooms.  Two meals, too much money but you can't take it with you when you go.

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