So, Kansas City. Lush like a rainforest in the wet summer heat, shades of green rarely found outside the jungle. All of Spring’s flowers seem to still dot the roadsides. We’ve spent mornings at the cafe and evenings having dinner with friends. Yesterday we went to Josh’s grandparent’s home for a perfect summer Sunday roast dinner.
Seeing everyone has been gorgeous. But neither of us have been happy in the apartment – restless, yet not starting in on the mountain of packing that needs to be done in order to leave. I’ve been uneasy and uncomfortable and stalking around the rooms like a caged tiger. Finally, yesterday morning, I woke up in a panicked sweat and spent the first two hours of my day talking myself down from a random, mild panic attack. When Josh woke up, he and I talked for a little bit, and I had another one of those little realizations about this whole grieving process.
See, people deal with “sad” differently. Me personally? I get angry, or I find a reason to be disgusted with myself for bringing about the sadness inducing situation in the first place. I never just get sad. I’ve been peripherally aware of this for a long time – I will intentionally watch sad movies in order to cry about all the sad things I’ve stored up since the last time I tricked myself into crying.
This time around, I am trying to be mindfully aware of the fact that I am grieving, that I need to do everything I can to facilitate it and be aware because often I mistake my sadness for fear and anxiety, or even an upset stomach. This time around, I can’t find a reason to hate myself for being sad. I did my best. It wasn’t perfect, I had bad days, I wish I could have spent better time with Mom, but I was there, nearly every day. That in the end was all I could really do, and I did it. Like Tiffany says, I reject the burden of feeling inadequate.
All that leaves me, then, is the sadness. The healthy kind, where I give myself room and space to reflect on my mother’s illness and the feeling of missing her. We drove back from Richmond Sunday night and it’s one of my favourite stretches of highway and I just cried for a good ten minutes and it was good.
Josh’s mother came up yesterday afternoon and stayed until after one in the morning, packing our apartment for us while we drank wine and stared at her blankly. That woman is a gift. We have a little bit left to do ourselves, and then we can roll. We pick up the truck today, and accoutrements for the cat. It’s hot in Kansas City, and unlike the deserts of southern California, it doesn’t cool off much at night. As long as I keep reminding myself that it’s an adventure, I stay excited about it.