Thursday, August 15, 2013

Status Update: Checking In With a Griever

-Day 1 Friday:

11:00 a.m. Mother's funeral. Wear black dress. Deliver eulogy. Host luncheon.

2:15 p.m. Pack van up with photo boards, photo albums, candles and crystal dishes from mother's service.

3:00 p.m. Arrive home, fall face down on sofa. With little boy.

Rest of day: Still in black dress from mother's funeral.

10:05 p.m. Sleep on sofa in black dress from mother's funeral.

-Day 2 Saturday:

8:01 a.m. Wake up in black dress from funeral.

7:00 p.m. Change from black dress from funeral, into black T shirt.

7:15 p.m. Drive self in black T shirt and slippers for something to eat. Only want ice cream.

8:20 p.m. Friend drops off purple violet plant, my mother's favorite. Can barely make out velvety leaves through blur of tears.

9:05 pm. Go into garage, stare at van full of things from mother's funeral, no room for children. Walk back into house.

9:10 p.m. Turn to FB: van needs emptying. Unable to do. Sage friends advise children to empty items into back room, I go through items later.

9:39 p.m. Children empty van.

11:41 p.m. Fall asleep grateful for wise friends on FB. 

-Day 3 Sunday:

7:48 a.m. Open eyes to view from sofa of blue sky and raindrops in sun!

7:49 a.m. Shout at kids to be dressed and ready to go because Now! Now! perfect weather for visit to cemetery.

9:45 a.m. Drive home from cemetery silently, family with me, radio on but don't hear it. Only hear words in my head of how one week ago we were with my mother, and today feels like someone else's life. 

12:30 pm. Escape to movies with 16-year-old son who lets me rest my head on his shoulder during previews, and then throughout movie. He doesn't re adjust once.

6:30 p.m. Dear friend drops off pizza and salad. I take bites and swallow hard in between tears.

11:07 p.m.  Promise to re-send re-write re-word every single card ever sent to anyone who has lost a mother. Will begin with, "My apologies, I had no idea."

-Day 4 Monday:

6:49 a.m. On sofa, eyes wide open, body tired but mind too sad to sleep. Still in black T shirt from weekend.

7:20 a.m. Dear friend knocks on door and drops off card. Is taken aback by lack of wardrobe change, endears herself to me by stammering she "likes T shirt I've been wearing these days."

12:00 p.m. Take children with me to funeral home to pick up mother's cremains. Even when holding evidence of ashes, my mind says not her.

12:40 p.m. Children make me laugh on drive home when littlest says, "Who me? Oh, you know, nothing special -- just driving around with my grandmother's ashes in the minivan."

1:30 p.m. Ice cream for lunch.

6:47 p.m. And dinner.

-Day 5 Tuesday:

7:15 p.m. Place mother's ashes in car seat next to me and go for ice cream. Cry while driving, wondering who's going to ask me now about the stories in my life.

7:35 p.m. Park car at mother's favorite ice cream drive-in and begin with what was always her first question to me as soon as I walked into her room, the latest story of woman who is thorn in my side. Salty tears fall and mix into my chocolate ice cream as I tell her what's new. I still finish cone.

8:00 p.m. 18-year-old son gets surprising new job of hearse driver when mother's ashes still left in car from ice cream run earlier in evening. He takes car, and thus inadvertently takes her for ride with him. He comes home saying, "Well, looks like Nona finally got to go for that car ride alone with me."

8:09 p.m. Bring my mother's ashes in, place her in piano room, where she can now sit near front window, listening to her grand children's serenades.

9:00 p.m. Change into grey T shirt.

11:50 p.m. Fall face down on sofa in grey T shirt. Wonder what I'm going to do.

4:15 a.m. Wake with crick in my neck and see littlest next to me. Don't want him to wake and leave so let him stay in my neck cranny.

-Day 6 Wednesday:

7:15 a.m. Take Tylenol for crick in neck from littlest sleeping in there all night.

Rest of morning: Still in grey T shirt.

9:21 a.m. On sofa, chanting grade school cheer Get up! Get going! You can move and do it!  Gooooooooo me!

10:19 a.m. Shower, leave to register two oldest for high school, come back home and rest for half an hour, leave again to buy shoes for two oldest.

1:55 p.m. Return home and pat self on back for school registration completed, shoe shopping completed, and not telling every person who asked about our summer, that my mother died. Flop down on sofa.

2:05 p.m. Scoop up littlest in my arms and bury my face in his soft head. Pass out for nap. Stay like that, eyes closed, until 8 p.m.

-Day 7 Thursday:

10:40 a.m. Try singing along to radio but voice won't go faster than 33 rpm.

3:00 p.m. Attempt to do all the things I need to do around house but legs are stiff and arms leaden. Will try again Friday.
5:25 p.m. Five pounds chocolate covered raspberries for dinner.

1:00 a.m. Order T shirt from Zazzle, "I have no parents. Be nice."

1:20 a.m. Set alarm to wake at 6:45 a.m. then plan to go to small bakery downtown and buy all the donuts.

1:50 a.m. Take blanket to sofa, stare at ceiling and marvel that a week has passed and how strange life will be without a mother. Hot tears slip out the sides of my eyes and puddle in my ears because I don't know what I'm going to do now that the person who loved me more than anything, is gone.

* * *

 **I'm doing okay, ups and downs, and moments that strike out of nowhere when you really need them not to, like not being able to walk past the watermelon at the supermarket because we'd always begin our visits with my mother with a bowl of chilled, cubed watermelon. Your love and kindness on the internet have lifted me and given me peace and comfort. Thank you, for being there, and making all this, a sharing of love. 

You guys are the best.



  1. ((hugs)) one second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time.

  2. I understand how hard it is, I've been an orphan for years.

    (((Big Hugs)))

  3. Love to you and yours, my friend. xo

  4. Oh sweet girl. I love your honesty and wish I was just a little bit closer to give you a hug. And more ice cream. xoxo

  5. Thinking of you and sending light. I believe you mom came to you in your dreams to tell you she was ok and at peace.

  6. This all seems about right—it's so hard to be orphaned. Hold tight and let the universe love you.

  7. I'm thinking of you too. And I hope you do buy all the donuts.

  8. Whenever someone I know is going through hurt like this I ALWAYS wish there was at least one or two words that would offer the tiniest moment of comfort. Through all of your words above, I can see that the words of your people online have given you glimpses of that. For that, I am grateful.

    Thinking of you. Sending love.

  9. Shakes are good too. Coffee shakes. With whipped cream.

    Keep being good to you. It will make the way through easier. xoxo

  10. I often wear the same clothes days in a row. And my mother didn't just pass away.

    You deserve a pat on the back, lots of cheers, and tons more ice cream... and much, much more.

    I love you.

  11. Can't stop thinking about you. Stay in your gray and black t-shirts for however long you need. Ice cream does wonders. SO many hugs your way, Alexandra. As someone mentioned earlier: be kind to yourself. XOXO

  12. I've been thinking of you so much lately. Sending you all of the love I have to give tonight. One second at a time, mama. You wear that grey t-shirt as long as you want. xo

  13. Am hoping the woman down the street does not make any comments that might end up with her getting a lesson in the grief food pyramid. You take care of yourself. Navy is a nice color as well...just saying. xoxoxoxoxo

  14. thinking of you. wish i were there.

  15. You are amazing. And so very strong.

    Sending you all the love today.

  16. Um. Nothing happened to me and I'm wearing the same tank top I wore yesterday and slept in just with a different sweater. And I went to work both days! Wear that black shirt, grey shirt, zazzle shirt as much as you want.

    All the love. xoxo

  17. Sending you all the love and hugs!!! xoxoxoxo

  18. I just love you. Tears falling unproductively everywhere, but through them, remembering the sound of your voice, the cadence of your words and it all hums with the need, the urgency even, to appreciate the good and the joy in life.

    Thank you for your friendship and your way of living in the world wide open, to share, to give, and to just radiate good.

  19. Thanks everyone. You're all so good. And yes, this is a week of Whole fat versus Non fat, and saying Yes when asked "With whip?" xo

  20. Thinking about you a lot. Love you. xo

  21. There are times when only ice cream and reworn t-shirts will do. I don't know this pain, but I am walking it with you. Much love.

  22. It's like having a newborn again, only this time what's being born is you, into this new world...and it's painful as hell. But just like with a newborn, you do whatever you need to do to get through the days: LOTS of icecream, sofa-sleeping, the same t-shirt, and a very very VERY short "to do" list. Sending hugs and hugs and hugs.

  23. Through the fog of grief, you have perfectly described the molasses-like feeling of sadness. Keep up the ice cream dosage as long as necessary.

  24. Buy all the donuts that are necessary for you. I remember when my Grandma passed, my mother had a really tough time too. You take it a day at a time and you will be fine. Will be thinking about you and sending you hugs and love and light.

  25. Wow, she was a beauty. My heart grieves for you. I still can't figure out why love hurts so much.

  26. Love you, no matter how many days you wear your t-shirt.

  27. "11:07 p.m. Promise to re-send re-write re-word every single card ever sent to anyone who has lost a mother. Will begin with, 'My apologies, I had no idea.'"

    Busted my heart wide open. And then when Nona got to go for a drive with your boy? Ugly crying.

    I'm so, so very sorry for your loss. Sending much love.

  28. On the light side, "cremains" is a new term for me and BigB's family runs a funeral home. Guess I haven't been paying attention. I cried in the car every day for at least a year. It was the music on the radio. I would hear certain songs on the radio and feel like my parents were saying hello. Rod Stewart for my Mom and Jim Croce (oddly) for my Dad. It's been a couple years now. And now, I mostly smile but if I cry it's because I miss them here, not because they died. I guess what I'm trying to say, in my not so eloquent way (I would never make a very good funeral director), is that it gets better but there's no need to rush it. X0

  29. Oh my heart, oh your heart. Love you. Those boys of yours? Treasures - like their mama.

  30. So so much love. My heart aches with your sadness, I send you encouragement when you need it most, no matter what you are wearing. Xo

  31. Oh no oh no oh no and a million hugs and so much love for you and your big big heart. I am so sorry, friend. I am thinking of you.

  32. Thank you, everyone. I cannot even begin to tell you what a balm your shared love and encouragement is here. You've made my load lighter, because you care so deeply for the loss I carry. THANK YOU. I hope I will be there for you, when you need it. xo

  33. I love you, dear friend. My mom tried to explain the loss of her mother to me. There are still not enough words to explain it all. xoxo

  34. Oh this: 1:00 a.m. Order T shirt from Zazzle, "I have no parents. Be nice."

    Tears. And laughter - together.

    Remember what your grandma did when you didn't want to get out of bed after she had died.

  35. I hope you are getting enough sleep. I am so grateful to read of all the love you are getting.

  36. The T-shirts help. Do what helps. The ice cream, the boy children who let you snuggle, the sofa, the anything that makes you feel even remotely better, do it. Do it.



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