Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Tracks of my Tears

"Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it."
Albert Smith

I've been feeling tired for a week. I've been on the verge of tears since the visitors left. I've been feeling at sixes and sevens, whatever that means. I've been thinking it was all related to a change of pace I'm not used to. Is it possible I've turned into that much of a wimp?

Today, after a rather stressful morning, the tears came. Like the wolf at the door of the three little pigs, I've been expecting them. As usual, they brought with them an overwhelming desire to hide in my room, under the covers.

Dad and I had words. Not bad words or mean words. Just a string of miscommunications. I tried not saying anything for fear of saying the wrong thing. I listened as Dad talked of his pain and sadness.

"Yeh, but what about me?" my inner child blubbered. Through my tears and my weariness I tried to reassure both the child and my father. Not really knowing what either of them needed, only that to speak would be cause more pain for everyone.

I lie here in my darkened room. I call it the cave. It's painted a dark, mossy green. I think sometimes I should lighten the color to make it more cheerful. I always come back to how much I like it the way it is - strangely comforting. With the birds chirping in the azalea bushes outside the window and the overhead fan gently rustling the curtains, it's kind of like a forest refuge.

The cats have joined me. They check out my tear stained cheeks - smell and taste the salt. One settled down beside me, the other was put off by the computer. The dog is on the floor next to the bed. She, too, was unset this morning. Too many people knocking on the front door, making their way back to Dad's room to see what was going on. Her heavy snoring tells me she's glad for the quiet now.

Dad is also asleep. The pain medication has done its job. If I think about him, I'll start to cry again. I'm confused. I'm his daughter and his caregiver. I get the two personas mixed up. When he asks to see Judy and Jean before 9 am I hear the fear in his voice. I ask what's going on. He barks some order. The daughter retreats, pushing the caregiver to the forefront.

The caregiver is matter-of-fact, no-nonsense, get-the-job-done. The daughter grieves. The daughter's feelings get hurt. The daughter's facade breaks and she begins to cry. The last thing the nurse says as she leaves the house is, "Mary, you've got to quit this crying." She didn't mean it as a critisism. She was stating a fact. How many times in my life have I said the very same thing?

I called the endocrinologist. Had to leave a message.
I called the psychologist. He's on vacation.
I called my Sweetie. He held my hand and prescribed 2 Tylenol. Perhaps a nap is in order.

Mandy wrote in her blog today about her "natural ability to get on with myself."* I can relate to that. Like Dad's dying, it is a process I must go through.

Not feeling so merry,
*http://byrdonfire.blogspot.com, Walking At Night, 8/18/09


Anonymous said...

Allow yourself a bit of time in the cave and then you've got to follow Mandy's advice and get on gettin' on. It will be a tremendous gift to GG if you can save the grief until after he's gone. Or at least keep it in the cave. It's not easy to let go (for you or for GG), but I know from Z that he wanted no part of others' grieving him before he was gone. He wanted to live it out and unfortunately felt he needed to keep a lot of people away in order to do that. GG can't keep you away, but he can bark and push you away. You are strong enough to handle this -- you know you are, and I know you are. You can do this.


Molly said...

it's okay to feel bad.

just don't let it become all you feel.

(just some advice I got once)

pattie said...

OH....I so can relate!! I have either been crying at the drop of a pin or wanting to scream so loud that I would be heard in the next state over!....So silence...silence is the thing that I welcome....but then that sometimes leaves me outside in (if you know what I mean)
Keeping YOU in this process is a lot easier said then done....and yet SO necessary!! Some days are just better than others! Living with dying is the most difficult thing that we do...so today, resolve to find something in the process that makes YOU smile...YOU laugh...YOU enjoy...and within this process YOU begin to live! I am going to follow that advice today!! (although easier said than done!!)
I send you warm and loving SELF wishes today....
Artfully Yours,

terri st. cloud said...

funny...i wasn't comfortable at all with the thing about you have to stop crying.....


i honestly don't get why.

it's not just his dying process that you're crying about. in fact, i bet
that's not really the thing you're crying over....

i wonder....

if you can narrow down what exactly it is.

maybe the relationship you two have? or not having something you want? or only you would know...not me....

but maybe you should pay attention to those tears....
and try to work with them.

not shut them off.

maybe now's the time to pay attention to them and honor them...

just a thought.
just a wondering.