February 27, 2009

Boots and Backsides

I am on a rant. There are a number of unresolved issues because this formal part of mourning left a huge amount of anger in me. Not surprising, really. I haven't been able to get back to Baltimore to grieve since I live in another city and can't take time from work. Being a temp pretty much means if I don't work, I don't get paid. A stark reality. I finally called my counseller yesterday to talk. Thank god. I gauge my state by how much I talk to the cars around me as I drive to work. Usually I am pretty good at letting stupid go by me. Not at the moment. So I called and discovered by talking just how angry I am. At the economy, at the behavior of people at the first shiva service, at, well, a lot of things I usually let go and let pass me by. And purr therapy? Well, it works but caring for a cat who refuses to take pain pills and is dying of cancer is hard to relax around. Tigger is/was my main purr therapist. He used to come over, butt into my arm until I made a circle for him to curl up in. Or he would climb onto my chest when I was reading in bed and fall asleep. He is visibly changed now. Smaller, scruffier, and the change is immense. I just started him on the pills after last Thursday's biopsy. Now a week later, he has lost weight and fur condition and is not the massive cat I am used to seeing. But he still gets around, isn't meowing in pain, eats like a pig and drinks water. Not being a pet whisperer and cat psychic, I don't really "know" what he is feeling. I can only observe. So yes, I am tense, I am ready to boot a backside just to get some of the anger out. And I know that attitude is not who I am. It is a reflection of what I am going through. And it is a part of the road to mourning. And will be a part of the road from mourning. Life is a journey, death a destination and we are given much along the way....

May all beings know peace.

Renewal and Sitting Shiva

We renew a lot of things during our lives. Insurance policies, lawncare, contracts with landlords, phones all have renewal policies. Cancel is not a pretty word. Either to hear or to say. We renew vows of love on anniversaries and Valentines' Day. Renewal is a two faced word. It is all about making a choice to start over and refill our safety net we weave each day in relationships we have with friends and things around us. So how do we handle renewal of soul when we are unable to mourn with people around us. Sitting shiva for Bess is tough. Tough because we don't know the people who are coming to comfort us. Are they friends of Bess's, members of the synagogue or caring people at all? Or are they voyeurs in the business of grieving? Do they come instead to gawk at the things in Bess's life and exude envy as they point and stare? It is impolite to stare at any time and especially when prayers are going on in one room and we have to keep watch not only on the Rabbi but on the people supposedly coming to sit with us. Perhaps people no longer know their manners. That's a slam we usually say of young people. But these people who stare are over 60 and some are over 70 and a few are up over 90. You would think someone would have pulled them aside and said, "enough." I plan to put up large signs when I die about how to behave. No pointing, no nasty asides about the people who are actually there to grieve. Nothing to distract from the process of processing a loss. I probably should have a written waiver that if someone says they will behave and doesn't will be invited to leave immediately by someone who is allowed to put a boot up their backside. Since when do mourners need bodyguards? It is a sad time. Much gets revealed when we lose someone. Ugly, sublime, coddies and dairy platters. All of it is part of the swirl of life and death. And renewal? That will have to be a personal journey, at least for me. Communities ... communal grieving ... well, it is as good as the trust that is involved, isn't it? Tough. I will keep you posted on how to find renewal as I find it along the path. Life is a bumpy road...sometimes the landing is hard to deal with than the view at the top of the bump. Sometimes the view is better. Up and down....

February 25, 2009

Hmmmm, shoulder pads and stock market buys

All I need now is for the 40s fashions to come back...the shoulder pads are sure handy in distributing the load. Perhaps those clowns who say god won't give you more than you can handle are the ones who came up with shoulder pads in clothing for those who live in tough times. High fashion reflects the eras. Shoulder pads for the 30s and 40s. None for the 20s. Shoulder pads came back briefly in the 80s. Common wisdom indicates that as the stock market plunges the fashions change. Today's shoulder pads seem to be in hair styles. Instead of straight and smooth, some fashion mavens are talking about fluffing up the hair since we can't do anything about fluffing up the economy. Thank god I am not a fashionista. My hair is fluff-less. It snarls instead. So the hair equivalent of shoulder pads won't work for me. What will I do? Probably buy stock in shoulder pads. Anybody know their NASDAQ number?

Well Meaning Clowns and ...

The well-meaning clowns among us say that god never gives you more than you can handle.
Yup. That's why I have a well-developed phobia about clowns. The cream pie in the face routine is funny to watch. Not funny or fun to live. Two hours after Bess died, I heard the biopsy results for my cat Tigger. Squamous cell cancer is a clown I never heard of before. SCC is lethal to cats when it presents in the mouth. Palliative care is the best we can do for them. I run towards a fight and I am running towards this one with one hand wrapped around the pain meds and the other squishing up food for him to eat. As long as the fight is in the cat, I will fight with him.

Thank God for my Mom-in-Law

Bess would have cringed to be called a mom-in-law. June Cleaver she wasn't. She died on Monday, February 23rd.. Not suddenly as she would have wished. Hers was tough stuff. A death fought by every tube, every breathe and every eye blink. Very very hard. Frankly, June Cleaver is not now and never will be in Bess's weight division. Bess was a heavyweight for all her tiny size at the end. Her sense of looking the dragon of reality right in the face and raising the metaphorical fist to it...legendary. Absolutely legendary. Overwhelming in love. Overwhelming in all ways. Tough lady, you are missed and you always will have a place in my heart. Always. Flights of angels with gleaming swords came to offer you a place among them. The EMTs of the air. Blessings always...