Wednesday, March 11, 2009

this is what it is...

I made it through the funeral today.

Kind of.

I cried so hard I almost threw up. My poor brother was the only reason I stayed on my feet...and that was barely. He weighs about 150 and he's 6 feet tall. He's a bean pole. I had on heels that put me at about 6'1" and I weigh 270. When I began to crumble, several people had to jump in and keep me off the floor. People were fanning me. People were running about bringing me water. I was escorted out of the sanctuary about 3 times. I snotted all over my mother's outfit. I buried my head in her chest and wailed out loud when they closed the casket. I was gagging and dry-heaving so much that a trash can was placed between my legs.

After the service, people just kept patting me on the back, telling me I did good. I wasn't quite sure what I'd done well, but I just hugged them and thanked them.

The service was nice though. I'm pleased with the way it all turned out.

On Sunday, my aunts came over to help my mother and I write the obituary and get things situated. My aunt (dad's oldest sister) automatically assumed we would be having visitation on Tuesday night and the funeral on Wednesday. My mother and I both felt that we couldn't withstand two days of standing around, hearing how sorry everyone is, and being faced with that casket. We just couldn't. One day was all we could muster. Plus, everyone knows that in small towns and probably big cities as well, visitation services are only used to view the body for about 10 minutes or so...once people have told the family how sorry they are, they just begin gossiping. Totally not why we're gathered. So, on three separate occasions, we told my aunt this. She came over on Sunday and told us that regardless of how we felt about it, she was having a memorial service for my father on Tuesday night. She said she wasn't asking us, she was telling us. She made it like we weren't doing enough for my father or we weren't paying enough respect or giving enough honor. My mom snapped. Went completely off. I began bawling. We argued. It ended with her giving me a half-ass pat on the back and telling me, "I'm sorry that things aren't as black and white as you think they are." She apologized to my mother and walked out. She really hurt my feelings some kind of bad. My mother's too. How insensitive and disrespectful can you be? At the time when we need comfort and support more than anything, she totally went against our wishes. Just rude. Everybody knows that it's in poor taste to go against what the wife and children want to do. Everybody keeps telling me that she'll get hers. To just let it go. And I will. She gave me a lil hug today and told me she loved me. I looked over her head and said it back...I have avoided eye contact with her. I basically think she's horrible. I'm sure those feelings will fade over time, but right now, she's disgusting to me. Today during the ceremony, a friend of my mother's got up to deliver words of inspiration and she was checking to make sure the people in the back could hear her, and my same mean-ass aunt yelled "JUST SPEAK!" How rude can a person really be? And I have a strong feeling that there's been some shit-talk done about my mother and I because my other aunt, the one that's had such a massive stroke that she's about as functional as a 4 year old and has no control over her emotions, won't even acknowledge me. I catch her staring at me at odd moments. With contempt in her eyes. She doesn't get up to hug me when I enter a room like she used to. She doesn't say anything to me. When I say hi to her, she gives me half of a smile. In her state, she's easily influenced and I think the mean-ass aunt has said some things outside of my presence that has made her dislike me. My dad was her caretaker, but when my parents got remarried, she had to move in with the mean-ass. My dad was too sick to be caring for someone else, but did it anyway to spare her from having to live with someone so evil...that's just the type of person he was. I think they are both harboring ill feelings because their lives became more miserable when my parents reunited. Who wants to be 60-some years old, caring for your little sister who can't do ANYTHING on her own, have about 3 failed marriages under your belt, nobody else wants you, and your own kids don't even really like you? Sounds pretty miserable. They came over on Christmas morning to find all three of us in the kitchen, baking cookies and playing around, waiting on my brother and Jackie to arrive so we could eat dinner. You could see in their eyes and from some of the things they said that they were jealous. Maybe I'm wrong for saying those things because there's no proof, but it's what I feel. My opinion is obviously subjective, but it's real to me. Only clue I have as to why she has become so distant and cold towards me. I'm curious about it, but at the end of the day, it doesn't make or break me. I don't see them hardly at all anyhow, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Anyway, I am glad that the funeral and making all the arrangements is over. I feel like a weight has been lifted. Like I can try to put my life back together now. My brother and I agreed that we can look forward now. It's never going to stop hurting, but the toughest of the tough is behind us. I know there's going to be plenty more occasions when we just ache for him....holidays, when Damien (who made his first debut in the paper in the obituary) arrives, when my brother and Jackie get married, our birthdays, both of my parents' wedding anniversaries....just those occasions that we've never experienced without him. They're going to be painful.

My mother and I got the freaking-out of a lifetime this morning. We're having breakfast and we hear the side door on our garage open and close. My mom got up and went to the door that opens into the garage, thinking it was my brother and Jackie. No one was in there. We figured someone had been snooping around the garage and we just heard them leave, so we dashed outside to see who we could see. No one. We get back in the kitchen, and only a minute later, we hear the front door open and close. Again, no one. It was spooky. We may be some grievin' folk, but we haven't completely lost it. Trust that both my mother and I would not have heard that if it didn't really happen. We're not crazy. My mom almost cried. I tried not to think about it too much, but I could tell it stayed with her for awhile. Devin and Jackie were lookin at us like we were nuts when they arrived and we shared the event.

It's been great getting to be around my extended family. I exchanged email addresses with 50 million cousins for the 50 millionth time and I really do think I will use them this time. We make the same empty promises every time we see one another. I was touched by one of my friends. On Monday, she went to her boss and told them that she had a funeral to attend on Wednesday and asked for the day off. Her boss said no. So she quit. Yes. That's right. She quit her job. To be with me on the hardest day of my life. Kind of crazy? Maybe. She has a house and a son to look after. But she quit. In the worst of economic times...jobs are not plentiful. She quit her job. I don't think I'll ever forget that. I couldn't thank her enough. I told her that she shouldn't have messed with her livelihood like that. But I was deeply appreciative of that. I was overwhelmed by the commitment and devotion to our friendship. No one has ever quit their job for me before. I'm quickly learning and seeing who'll ride for me and who won't. It's interesting.

I'm heading to Philly tomorrow. Gonna go lay up with my babygirl for the weekend. I need some lovin. Some hugs. Some time to just let my mind be numb. To do whatever I feel like I need to do in the presence of the only person in the world who doesn't judge me. My mom is the one who suggested I go. She said that it will do me some good. She said that I need to get away. It will be a good lil minute before I have anymore vacation time at work, so I need to make the most of this time that I have left. Plus, she said she's ready to be alone for awhile. I have been in her face since Friday and she'd been staying with me since the previous Tuesday and she's ready to just do her own thing. Personally, I'm not ready to be alone yet. I had every intention of staying at my mother's house until Monday the 16th. But she has made it clear that she's ready for me to roll. She even offered to pay for my trip. So, it works out perfectly.

Thank you for the kind messages and comments on my last two posts. I appreciate the concern and support.

3 comments:

abrowngirlgonegay said...

I've been thinking of you. Selfishly, I'm glad to see this post. I'm glad you made it through and that you did your grieving. Glad to know that you recognize how hard it's going to be to move on, but that you will.

When my family buried my uncle, the chairs people were sitting in kept moving. There were people falling out of folding chairs for no reason. We assumed it was my uncle's spirit because he was a jokester. Know that the unexplainable will happen. Just know that your dad wants you to know he's there.

E. said...

Wow I just came on here to leave you a message to ask how you were doing. I hadn't expected to see a new blog post! Again, I'm amazed at your strength and I'm glad you are 'getting through'. Again please accept my condolences on your loss and I'll pray for continued strength for you and your family.

I'm soooo glad you're getting to go see Shanee. I agree with your mom, I think it's EXACTLY what you need. Whether you feel like going out and doing things together to kinda keep your mind occupied or if you just want to lay in bed and just hold each other - just being together will lift both your spirits. I'm sure it's also been hard for her as well not to be with you through all of this so this will be good for the both of you.

Well take care, continue to be strong and have a ton of fun in Philly!

Joey Bahamas said...

You made it through and that's what matters. Reading this post brings me back to my grandmother's funeral when I went through all the same emotions. It was fade but his memory will live on...

JB