You might have noticed that things have been a little quiet over here these past few weeks, with only the occasional giveaway popping up. You see, I have been a little lost, and depressed, and generally… just not coping.
I know, we are not supposed to admit these things. Us moms have it all together right? Well I don’t, I never have and I probably never will – and usually I am okay with my mediocre life skills, I have become used to the mom guilt that has been crushing my heart since the moment my first was born. These past few weeks have been absolutely awful, and I have not felt this depressed and lonely in years. I have kept to myself because I have been trying to get my shit together, to just make it through every hour of the day without falling apart.
A few things have happened that left me in the bad head space I am in… the most significant being my mother-in-law’s cancer diagnosis two months ago and her sudden death just over a week ago. I was incredibly lucky to have a mother-in-law like her. We were like chalk and cheese with completely different personalities, aspirations and views on life… but I loved her fiercely. Her death was a hard blow for me, it hit me harder than I thought possible. It hurts. Every day I am asked how we are doing, are we doing better, is Cole doing better, are we okay? These questions are tough to answer. Of course people want us to heal, they want us to be okay – they care. I suppose the most honest answer is that yes, we are getting there… it is no longer this raw grief, but the pain and grief will never disappear and that is as it should be. If she was worth loving, she is worth grieving over. Grief is existential testimony to the worth of the one loved. So we own our grief, we will remember her and we will honor her for as long as we live. One of my family members send me the sound clip of her funeral, which was held in the U.K and I think it speaks a lot about her that even the pastor was struggling to hold back his tears and compose himself as he was conducting the ceremony. She was just one of those people… pure, good, selfless and the epitome of kindness. This woman helped me raise my kids, and my daughter and her had an incredibly special bond. Telling my daughter that she would never see her grandmother again shattered my heart.
The event of my mother-in-law’s death also opened the door to everything else. I took time off work and had to face a massive backlog on my return, I have not been able to write and I have been emotional and unpleasant to be around. I bottled it all up, because when at home I wanted to be strong for my husband. I realized one thing about myself, I am not as strong as I thought I was.
In a twisted turn of events, a very close friend of ours have also just recently been diagnosed with aggressive Stage 4 brain cancer, two months after his engagement. I am not going to go into detail, it is not my story to tell – but seriously, WTF universe. What is next? All of this has just made me face the reality of my own mortality, and not a day goes by that I am not afraid of dying. I can’t help but think what would happen to my kids should I no longer be there, or get to sick too care for them. I feel like I need to put some sort of a plan in place – do you know what I mean? Have you?
That being said, my kids would probably be just fine. Cole has been in the U.K for a week now, and lets just say I deserve the award for the worst mother ever – and I still have a whole week to go. He left on Saturday, by Monday both the kids had Bronchilitis, sleeping patterns went out the door and I pretty much maxed out my Xanax prescription. It has been insane… I should be able to do this!? I have been HOURS late for work every morning. I have not slept more than three hours a night. I rush to get ready, then have to arm wrestle and basically get my son in a chokehold to get him dressed in the morning. When both of them are dressed and we are finally in the car, I have to rush back inside the house at least three times afterwards because I have forgotten things (and yes, I have a list taped to the back of our front door – I have no excuses). The other day I dropped my son at school with one shoe on…. one shoe. I have had car troubles, my dishwasher seems to have packed up, my washing machine has packed up and I just want life to give me a fucking break. And yes, this is a little pitty party – can’t you hear the violin in the background? I have let down clients, have blog commitments that I have yet to fulfill, forgotten to pay bills, my house is a mess… I have been cleaning, doing dishes and laundry until the early hours of the morning – but when I turn around it has all been undone all over again. How do single parents cope??
I feel lonely, mortal and useless.
I know I will get through this, we are not given anything we cannot handle. It is just hard. Screw this crap that everyone portrays a perfect life on social media. My life is not perfect, here it is – raw and messy, dirty and dark. But it is my life, and I will live it.
“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms