Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The week

A week and a half ago I made the decision to have my sweet little dog euthanized. Due to old age, her quality of life had become very poor and was quickly declining without any hope of a good treatment. On Friday my warm and wonderful father-in-law died from cancer. He was a good man who treated me with far more warmth and kindness than my father or brothers did.

I know that things could be worse and that my grief is a drop in the bucket compared to my husband or his family's, but I am sad and miserable. Still, I need to figure out a way get more work done, be more efficient in spite of that. There are appointments to make, laundry, artwork, taxes, permission slips, comforting words and actions, checks to write, teachers to set-up conferences with.

I do not understand how people do all this and deal with these emotions at the same time. I just want to go to bed.


Alison Cummins said...

In my case, when my mother died, I didn’t. I took six weeks leave from work, doubled my meds, met with my psychologist and took my dog for a long walk every day.

I don’t know how other people do it either.

When my mother was dying and I was missing the smartest person I knew, I started hosting salons of smart women. We drink wine, smoke cigars, play dominoes and talk about current events.

I’ve also discovered that I can fill part of the gap that my mother left.

When the loss is a dog you can get another one, but it took us six months to be ready.

But no, I don’t know how people do it.

MinM said...

Thanks for the comment Alison. I am glad that you are doing okay. I guess there's a good chance that no one knows "how people do it". That we all just get by, best we can.

I wish that I could go the friend, wine, cigars, dominoes route. But the social anxiety thing makes those sort of interactions more of a challenge to be faced than a comfort or diversion. Stupid, I know.

But, just writing things down helped me. Gave me something concrete to react to and a list to move forward on.

Thanks for listening.

Alison Cummins said...

Yes, I’m fine. I just felt so silly thinking I had anything to say on that other blog after being so helpless and so, so very ignorant when my mother was dying. She wanted to refuse treatment, and we fought her but she was right. Pretty horrible.

But we move on. We have no choice.

I didn’t mean to be prescriptive. Wine, cigars and dominoes work for me because it gets the smart wimmins chatting vigorously, which is what I want to bathe in. No spouses or children allowed — I’m not looking for anyone’s soft side or to hear about their new furniture.

If who you’re missing is the kindest person you knew, where would you find kindness? A sweet little dog (I know, too soon) is kind. If it’s small enough you can carry it around. A massage can be kind. A kind friend who would let you knit in her kitchen while she did other things would be a treasure.

And of course, practicing being as kind to yourself as your father-in-law was.

But nothing is going to fix it. It can’t be fixed. You just ache.

Which you know all about.


MinM said...

Alison, you are very insightful. I have never thought in terms of looking for what I am missing and exploring possible new ways to fill that lost piece. You are right, I miss my father-in-law's kindness. Also I miss his liveliness. So if I focus on other forms of kindness and liveliness in my life, that is some comfort and it is, in some sense, an affirmation of my father-in-laws life.

Thank you for that.

I'm sorry that you had to go through that with your mother. But I am glad that you have found some peace with the experience.

Alison Cummins said...

Yes, very much an affirmation! To honour what they brought to the world by celebrating it in others.