Saturday, February 14, 2015

Two weeks

Two weeks after Mum died, one week after the girls' barely-celebrated birthday (thank goodness they're only three and not yet picky about birthday celebrations!) and today is Valentine's Day and also Geoff's birthday, when he goes back to being only one year younger than me. My birthday's in October, so there's always a four month gap when I am technically two whole years older.

We're approaching normal again, a little. Both girls have wretched colds, but they don't seem to be slowing down at all. The boys got stomach flu at two a.m. on Wednesday, which was as awful as it sounds, and I am battling a sore throat but feel overall okay. Yesterday we had Judith and the kids over, and my aunt left to visit friends for the weekend. I got several poems read aloud, and I cruelly forced Thomas to do a tiny, tiny bit of letter recognition and phonics, so I think we might even go back to regular homeschooling, which would be a huge relief.

Geoff and I are both moving out of the paralysed with grief stage, and into the irritable and sort of tired stage. The funeral is over, regular life is supposed to begin again, The problem remains that regular life requires effort. I am beginning to feel guilty about the meals and help and bottles of wine friends have offered and we have accepted, and part of my brain is wondering if I'm spinning this out too long. But another is saying, Two weeks. It's only been two weeks. How much time should we give ourselves before we expect to return to whatever loud chaos is normal? 

While I was going through my parents' phone book and calling all the friends and relatives, I called a friend of my Mum's who moves frequently, picking the number from the Northwest Territories, because that's the last place Mum mentioned she was living. She called back last night. She'd been away in Edmonton receiving radiation treatment and only got home yesterday in the late afternoon and picked up my message. She and Mum were in high school together and have kept in touch for over sixty years. It was good to talk to her. I think I want to make it a deliberate project to talk to all of my mother's friends and relatives and to gather stories about her. 

I still haven't been over to my parents' house and started gathering things to give to Goodwill. The thought makes me want to lie down and let the kids Netflix it up for the rest of the winter. Surely my energy will return soon?


Melanie Bettinelli said...

Two weeks isn't very long at all. And with everyone sick no wonder you're exhausted. As much as you long for normalcy, I think you should let yourself accept all the extra food and help. It's ok for it to take a long time. It's ok to not get over it.

Wendy said...

I lost mom in 2013, and some days I miss her so much it physically hurts. Be kind to yourself, allow others to offer you their love and support in the form of meals or whatever, and both embrace and allow yourself to be embraced by those you love. Blessings.

lissla lissar said...

Thank you, both. I am trying to give it time, even though my natural inclination is to go hell-for-leather back in.

It seems what my body wanted after all the stress was to collapse in very uncomfortable illness, blargh. I have flu. Cold chills body aches congestion misery, but not FULL flu, which means I have lurched around the house a little.

Nothing compares to Swine Flu, for me. That was like someone had excised four days.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

It's not surprising after so much stress that you get sick. When I was in college I would get sick at the end of every semester and I think it was just my body's response to finals and stress was to collapse just as soon as I'd got through all the work. So it totally makes sense to me that you've got through all the work of sitting with your mother as she was dying and then getting through the funeral. So of course you're going to get sick. All that stress has to go somewhere.