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On Grief

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We sat drinking coffee on the porch last night, on the outdoor wicker furniture that used to be in my mother-in-law’s living room. It wasn’t that she didn’t want or couldn’t afford regular furniture. She just really had a thing for wicker.

She’s been gone for 11 days.

In the past, grief has been 100% personal for me. How was it affecting ME. What was I going to do from here. This time though, it’s different.

Yes, I’ve lost my mother-in-law, really, my second mother for the last 15 years, and it is incredibly hard. She drove me absolutely crazy. But everything I have ever said about her here or elsewhere, I could—and did– say to her face. We laughed about her putting ketchup on everything I cooked. We laughed about her needing coffee so bad that she had me get up and make a pot THE DAY I brought Liv home from the hospital. She was easy like that. I miss her so so much. And it’s so not even real, though I saw her with my own eyes dead in the hospital, and then again in her casket last Friday. It was much too soon; I had spoken to her (as best as she could—but she was awake and alert) just a few hours before. How could she possibly be gone?

I don’t feel like it is fair for me to be this upset though. At least not openly. My husband has lost his mother, for crying out loud. I can’t think of anything that could possibly hurt more. His mother. Gone. Forever. And he’s doing ok, really. It’s hard on him; he spent a ridiculous amount of time with her. He was working on getting her an apartment close to us. If he didn’t see her, he spoke to her at least once a day on the phone. I don’t know how, but he is getting through.

And the kids? Well, they’re ok. When we told Lucy last Sunday, she cried like she never has before. A cry that would break a stranger’s heart. And again, at the funeral home, when she saw her—heartbreaking sobs, and all that I could do was hold her and sob right along with her. Bud is handling it differently—very bluntly as a matter of fact—telling everyone that his grandma has DIED. From SMOKING. And we will NEVER! SEE! HER! AGAIN!

It’s crazy like you would not even believe. I’m sad for me, losing my MIL and friend, for Hub who has lost his mother, and for the kids who have lost their grandma. I think that it’s harder for me because I am shouldering their grief as well. Gah. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore.

And so, I am here, but not really here. Dealing with things in my way. And hoping that somehow, we all come out of it.

Sickness

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So. My mother-in law. She has the lung cancer. Yeah. Also some mysterious disease that is causing her to lose platelets. And some form of dementia. She has been in ICU since Friday, when she passed out while filing for aid at Social Services.

Things are not good.

When I met Hub, way back when I was 15, she was the coolest mom I knew. She cared not what he did, so long as he came home at night. She, unlike my own mother, was supportive and appreciative when she found out that I was on the pill. She taught me to drive.

Things have gone down hill for her over the years as her father and sister passed away. She has been a colossal pain in the ass.

She puts ketchup on everything I cook.

But I don’t wish her dead. Or sick. Or any of this.

I’d really like for her to be well.

If you are the praying type, could you say one for her? Her grandkids would like to see her again.