07/09/2005: "like the Beatles said, it's getting better"
I must admit, I get somewhat embarassed both when I think of what I said the other day, and when someone calls me on it. As I said, however, the grieving process is my wife's and this blog is mine. This is where I come to deal with issues - by nature they will seem too self-centered than the situation(s) may allow.
What I wrote last was after a terrible afternoon. My daughter's knee hurt so much she couldn't walk, my son was grumpy, and once again I was left behind with kid duties as the others went out. Hopefully, it will be as low as this entire process gets. Things have been much better since, and improving, but still far from perfect. At least today I don't feel like demanding a ticket for Sunday night.
And thanks for all the feedback, encouragement, advice... Most of it I know in my heart, it's just a difficult time for all involved, and I'm not dealing well with being so far out of my element. Rest assured the imbibement isn't going to turn into a nasty habit, and that I'm not going to unload on my wife or in-laws during their lowest moments. NFT is my place to vent, and I've vented. The process continues, and things are improving. As my wife and I are fond of saying, "This too shall pass."
Today we all got out of the house, and did something significantly non-funerarial; we shopped for my son's 1st birthday, which is on Sunday. All of us were in some kind of a daze, which made shopping difficult (each in our own way), but we got presents, some basic decorations, and the fixings for a birthday cake. It's likely going to be a bit odd going from doing the funeral home visitation one day to a 1st birthday the next, but it's also something we all have to do to help us move on. At the very least, it will be a nice interlude between the visitation and the dedication of her ashes to the Pacific Ocean.
My wife and I talked a little bit today. Still not as much as we really need, but we both expressed some feelings that needed expressing. She now knows (perhaps not the extent of it) that I need to get home sooner than later. I now also realize that she's really in a daze, so much so that she's kind of lost her mothering groove, and needs to find it again. I don't think it's going to help that she's going to stay up to a week (or more) later than I will, but from this point on the next year is simply going to be an extension of the grieving process, and I'm going to have to keep reminding myself of that. I won't see the wife I knew for a while.
Quick vent: One thing about this family that really bugs me is the way everyone panders to my father-in-law. It's not that they're simply trying to please him, it's more that they are catering to every minute wish and whim he has. For example, tonight we were having salad for dinner. It was decided to put cheese on the salad. In the fridge were two types of shredded cheese, and a block of cheese. Now, you or I might simply ask which kind of shredded cheese someone might prefer and use that, but well above and beyond that tonight's chef was prepared to grate the block of cheese, should my father-in-law prefer it that way. That's a slightly odd example, but is nonetheless a good example of the kind of pandering that goes on. I don't know why it bugs the hell out of me like it does... perhaps the pragmatist in me is simply irked at the convolutions that people go through to accomplish what should be a fairly straightforward task, only because my father-in-law prefers things that way.
Back to the topic at hand. My daughter seems to be dealing fairly well with the whole situation. We bought some books today about dealing with death, and she and my wife went through them before bed tonight. So tomorrow she knows pretty much what's going to happen, that we're going to say goodbye to Fram (what she calls her maternal grandmother), and that she's going to have one last gummy bear picnic with Fram to say goodbye. How my daughter deals with it is really the biggest part of how I'm feeling about this whole situation. If she's fine with it, I'll be fine. If she's a little scared, I'll be comforting. If she's upset, I'm going to be a crying wreck, likely. I really don't want her to be upset, but I know it's entirely possible. There is a chance, based on what she's done up to this point, that she's simply going to say goodbye, have her gummy bears, and that will be that. If only it were so easy for the rest of us.
We'll see what tomorrow brings.