My dear readers, I apologise for not writing.
It has been an awful, horrible, no good, very bad fall. I'm so glad it's over with. Every time I was about to write something, it seemed I had another assignment due for my internship. Actually I have another assignment due for my internship tomorrow, but I'm tired of shirking this blog. I keep composing posts in my head, I might as well publish one.
Allie Brosh at her brilliant blog Hyperbole and a Half has an excellent explanation for at least half of the reason I've been feeling so terrible (and has also greatly contributed to my lack of posting). Yes, that post is titled "Adventures in Depression." But this fall/winter has been more than just depression. It's been a strange mix of depression plus grief plus some other stuff I really don't want to get into on the blog. Just a whole festival of emotional stuff.
It's been a country music song worth of stuff. It was grief season...the year of seconds. The second year since he was alive for our anniversary, October 3rd. The second year since his death, November 6th. Between those dates, my elderly dog, who had been ailing for quite some time with a painful rectal tumor (probably cancerous) stopped responding to her painkillers and meds and had to be put to sleep. She was 14 years old, which is a good run for a dog her size (medium-sized), but she was dearly loved, and I didn't want to see her go. I think I would have taken her death a bit easier if Nelson were still living.
Then, the same weekend that Nelson died, my grandmother was rushed to the hospital with two life-threatening conditions--fluid around her heart and blood clots in her lungs. This was on a Friday. I know Nelson's death was officially on Saturday, but it felt like Friday since I was still up...I think it must have been around the cusp of midnight. I still wish I knew the hour of his death. Not that it matters, matters, but I wish I knew. I wish I could find out. Anyway. This is why finding out on Friday, so close to midnight, and then contacting people (relatives) to tell them about it around midnight, was such a trigger for me. I was so convinced she was going to die. My mom and aunt went down to SC to see her at the hospital the next day. It was very scary. I have seen enough old folks in the hospital in similar conditions doing poorly or dying in intensive care to totally hit the panic button. Hospitals aren't magic. They do all they can to help people, but there are limits to what they can do. Plus, if someone you love dies, you don't take these things for granted anymore. And my grandmother is 87, and frail.
She was in the hospital for a week. My mother and aunt (her twin) arranged meals on wheels, and then arranged visits for my grandparents for the three-week period that they won't have help. (My other aunt who had moved to SC to help them out was going to visit her children and grandchildren for the holidays.) One week was my aunt (my mom's twin) and uncle, the next week was me and my mom, and the week after was yet another aunt, her husband, my cousin, and my cousin's kid.
I celebrated the holidays by getting sick as a dog. It started with a cold. I remember when it started. It was an on-call shift when I couldn't stop sneezing. Then it settled in my nose and turned into sinusitis. Naturally, the doctor prescribed the wrong antibiotic on the first go-round, so back to the doctor I went (after the trip to SC, at which point I had picked up another infection to boot). Those antibiotics worked on bug #2 but not on the first one. Long story short, I was sick for two months--December and January. Still sick now, actually--still on antibiotics. Tired of 'em, but glad they're working.
How have I felt? Like something left under your shoe. Or something crushed under earthmoving equipment. Or like Sisyphus? Struggle. Pain. Darkness. I finally understand why the old hands at grief call it "The Grief Monster." But you can't really beat it back with a stick. You have to learn to live with it somehow, come to terms with it. Something. Tame it. Turn it into your pet? Ha.
And I feel like I've been told so many times, "Nobody wants to hear it," I hesitate to say it anymore. I hesitate to write it.
I'm at the point where I'm thinking about thinking about dating...the eHarmony ads no longer seem like a personal affront, like a reminder of "Hey, remember how you found Nelson and then he died? Ha ha! Doesn't your life suck?" It's more like, "Oh yeah, I was going to set up a profile again. I need to get a new picture. All my good ones are pretty old." And the Valentine's Day ads, although annoying, no longer make me want to throw a brick (or a hand grenade) through my television set. Maybe a whiffle ball. I still hate them. And 'Singles and Widows Awareness Day,' which is what Valentine's Day ought to be called, frankly.
The world keeps turning. People I know, friends, fellow bloggers, keep getting engaged, getting married, getting on with their lives. I hear about that and feel...partly jealous, partly numb, partly, "oh yeah, time to do something in that department, yeah, on the list...." I need to find a place after my internship. I'm working on that. I don't think I have enough brain cells to spare on that and romance. Excuses, excuses? Maybe. I'm calling it widow brain, mixed in with some ADD and exhaustion.
My internship. Can't really talk about it here. Maybe I'll figure out a way to talk about it later. Just not now.
I leave you with the classic R.E.M. single "Everybody Hurts." (R.E.M. is my favorite band, you know. Did they have to break up this fall? Seriously! When it rains it pours!)