Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Checkbook…

Ok. I’ve begun balancing my check register. No biggie right? Wrong. I have the last six months to do. I know many of you are probably thinking that is insane. But honestly…it is not bad. It could be much worse, believe me. Bills are getting paid. Alec is being cared for. I am doing what I can and surviving the days. Some things have gotten lost along the way. Many things probably. But I am making sure that Alec is getting the love and attention he needs. And doing what I can for myself. Check registers…yeah they are important. But they will get done. And they are not crucial to daily survival. And far worse could have gotten neglected.

At first it never got done because I was consumed with taking care of the important things like David and Alec. Then, after David passed, there were always so many other things to do. I knew the account was fine…so I just kept putting it off. Well. I began tonight and it sucked. Probably not why you think though. Going through and checking each item off. It was like taking a stroll back through the past couple months. The days following the stroke. The daily visits to the cafe to get David his coffee and bagel before he went off to PT, OT and speech therapy. Those long weeks in the hospital in rehab. The never ending trips to the pharmacy for the continually changing and increasing medications. All of this was captured by that little check card. And I had to relive it all.

Some were fond memories. Memories I will now treasure in my heart forever. But many were bittersweet. There were the many outings we crammed into this summer. Trying to embrace and capture every single second. But many would end up being our lasts. Our last dinner out. Our last art show together. The last piece of artwork David would ever buy. That little check card also captured moments in time. Like the beautiful necklace David bought for me at a bead shop. He was on the way back from the hospital after an outpatient therapy visit and he cajoled his family into stopping. And for some reason the store actually had completed necklaces there and not just beads. And even with the stroke…and at that point the beginning of renewed tumor growth. He still remembered Mother’s Day and was able to get me something. And later the chocolate cake he would have another friend help him get for my birthday. He was able to do it…simple things. But they meant the world to both of us. He hated having to rely on others to do these simple tasks. But he did it. Because it was so important to him. With the help of our remarkable friends he was able to do the final things that he wanted to do. The final legacies he would leave for Alec and I. They took him wherever he needed and wanted to go, for he had a “plan” and there were things he wanted to do before he passed and someone was always there to help. And looking back through these registries I am reliving those days. And reminded of all the amazing support we had and continue to have.

I only made it through two months tonight. I know that I will have to do the rest… and probably soon. But those remaining months will be tough. They will recount the final days of David’s life. The things that had to be bought to make him comfortable and happy. All the final requests he had. And then the after. The days that I have forgotten. So numb and lost. Going to buy an outfit for his celebration of life. Finding the glass piece for his unique vision. All the preparations that were made in the days following david's death. The celebration. The obituary. All the end of life crap.

This is hell. I know that the body is a highly evolved and amazing piece of equipment...and that we are numb for a reason. I have been told and also read that if one were to experience grief all at once, it would literally kill you. The pain would just be too much. So your body doles it out…slowly. Letting you process it at a rate you can handle. Which means the grief and pain tend to come in waves. Crashing over you. Taking your breath away and smothering you. And once you pick yourself up…another wave will come again.

Your body knows what you physically and emotionally can handle. So it lets you process the grief. Experiencing the loss in stages you can survive. But when they hit, like they did tonight, the pain and loss is debilitating. And I swear it is going to kill me. Just break my poor little beaten heart in half. And unfortunately there is not a damn thing I can do when these tidal waves hit...slamming me to the ground. It is futile to fight it. You can not avoid it. It is going to come whether you like it or not. So I just sit down...or curl up...and let the pain wash over me. And know that I will come up for air again. Someday. But sometimes it is so difficult to pick yourself up…knowing that there is another wave. Waiting. Not knowing when it will hit. But knowing it will. And knowing that I will have to stand up and face it again and again. Hoping that someday those waves won't be as big and won't knock me down quite so hard.


At October 27, 2008 7:55 AM, Blogger Farm Girl Cat said...

you are my hero ((hugs))

At October 27, 2008 11:45 AM, Blogger Satine said...

I've always felt that the loss of a loved one is a tremendous emotional pain just as surgery results in strong physical pain. In either case things are cut, torn, and ripped apart. And I know, your routine changes, and so do responsibilities, finances, faith, priorities, activities, interests... it all changes, and change is seriously hard! So... don't forget to ask for help, for advice, keep keeping this journal, share responsibilities if you can... --and I'd really like to be able to send snail mail from time-to-time... you have my e-mail :)

At October 28, 2008 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's amazing how poetic, yet truthful your words are. Another thing to truly admire about you.

Thanks for sharing.

At October 30, 2008 2:25 PM, Anonymous Roads said...

I'm sorry it's so hard for you right now. If it's any consolation, and I know it isn't, really, you describe this all so incredibly well.

Cheque books, bank accounts, administration. There's a sodding mountain of the stuff to deal with right now, and at times there seems no respite. I found myself working through it all till late at night in the vain attempt to get it finished. And there's always more to do.

The problem was that made me very tired. And tiredness makes it all so very much worse. The floodgates of exhaustion and pain and tears and misery can always threaten to engulf you if you don't rest enough.

It's tough. Enormously hard, relentless and seemingly endless right now. But, I'll tell you what - suffering on this scale makes you stronger afterwards in a way you really can't believe.

Stick it out, as best you can. All best wishes, and much sympathy and admiration to you, from London.


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