Wednesday, October 12, 2011

it's been a while.

things have been eventful. stressful, joyful, and eventful.

in august, the two year anniversary of my mother's passing rolled around. it sort of crept up on me. i hadn't really paid attention to the dates of that particular month, what with school rolling starting up for the boy and all that. and then my dad stopped by to remind me what day it was.

my mom died on a weekend. i know that because i had to go into work to find my boss' home number so i could tell him i wouldn't be in for a few days. i wanted to get nice and drunk right away but there was a funeral to plan so i waited. i had been with her earlier that day and we knew it was going to happen soon. we were waiting for that other, horrible shoe to drop.

we had her funeral and things normalized rather quickly. at first i felt terrible for not falling apart more but then i realized that my mourning period had begun years before she passed away. my mom had severe dementia. it was very similar to alzheimer's in that in took almost over her life for a decade, slowly robbing her of her faculties. when it became too much for my dad to handle, she went to live in a nursing home. i had a hard time visiting her there because she often didn't recognize me. that killed me. i tried to go more often but i just couldn't do it. i don't know if she noticed.

from my early 20s on, i watched her disintegrate. we didn't speak for about 7 years after a horrendous series of fights and my realization that i had to protect myself somehow. when i came back into her life she was happy and so was i. that's when i saw just how bad things had become for her.

towards the very end hospice care took over. we realized that prolonging her life with tubes would be cruel and not anything she would want. so we did what we thought she would have wanted us to do, which was just let her go. dementia is one of those diseases that has no cure but it tears you apart to see it end.

i think if you know for a long time that something is dying, that grieving process begins long before they're gone. you start once the knowledge becomes real. by the time they pass, you and they have prepared for it. does it make it easier? no. but you know what's coming. it's not a sucker punch. you've seen that fist coming at your face for years.

so i held it together that week while we made arrangements. but that friday night? yeah, i got drunk. i got very, very drunk indeed.