Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Suspension

If you asked me today what the worst byproduct of my mother's struggle is, I would answer: the bone tired weariness. We are all exhausted, and Mom is worse. She is not herself, and it breaks my heart. Sometimes cancer patients do just quietly slip away but that isn't exactly what's happening here.

Something I notice is that this experience steals my attention from the present moment. I hear Eileen's voice in my heart, saying things from times past. I find myself drifting in the trance of thinking about her when she was even a year younger than she is today; or projecting to the future when she is no longer here. It is partially my exhaustion, I just haven't been able to catch up on sleep. But part of it is also the nature of death and dying, of trying on a future that is adapted to accommodate a memory instead of a living presence, and packing up those memories for careful storage.

The waves of grief come and go. Dull exhaustion seems to have descended for the duration. However, we are holding each other up and confronting this with grace. I've never been this proud of or grateful for my family.