One happy (well dressed?) family

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Reblogging and memories

I’ve been reblogging some of Paul’s brother’s posts lately.  Partly because they have stories or photos of him that I hadn’t heard or seen before.  And I want to have them here so I can read them easily.  Some I haven’t even read.  I’m not ready to.

It’s been hitting me the last few days that the memorial sort of opened a wound that had started to heal.  I was sort of getting used to the fact that he wasn’t here any longer.  Or I thought I was anyway.

I haven’t had the desire to work in the garden because it reminds me of him.  He helped me plant this or that, or we had many, many, discussions about what this flower’s name was, what it was doing and why.  He helped me prune that tree, and he helped me bury one of my cats under the other one.

It’s hard to even look at the garden without memories of him.  One of the vines was driving him crazy because it was dormant and was just bare stems.  I wish he’d worked on it.  I can’t do it now, it was his project.

He had the idea of planting the cactus (which I’d thrown into the ivy) up on the bank between retaining walls.  He carved out a level spot out of the granite so we could put planter boxes there.  Had I known how bad his back was and how much pain this was causing him I never would have let him do it.  But he was game for anything when it had to do with gardening.  As first I’d introduce him to my friends as my “gardening buddy.”  But later it was “My good friend Paul who helps me with my gardening.”  The cactus is doing very well by the way.

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The memorial part 1

I wish I’d taken a Colonopin. Really. I’d taken one last night because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep, so I was hesitant to take one this morning. I woke up early enough and felt pretty good, thinking, “Hey I may get through this okay after all!”  Afraid I might be too groggy I passed on taking the second one.  And part of me felt somewhat of an obligation to Paul to be totally present.  I did take the mood stabilizer, I’ve really been needing them lately. But I still wish I’d taken the Colonopin.

I’d written a letter to be read at the memorial, but I couldn’t get my damn printer to work, so I had to write it out by hand.  I wanted it perfect so it would be clear for whoever read it.  That took a couple of tries, unsuccessfully.  So I tried different tactics with the printer, also unsuccessfully.  Back to writing it out by hand again, now panicking because I was running behind.

By the time I’d taken a shower, tried on two blouses, (twice) fought with my hair, and checked the clock every five minutes to make sure I wouldn’t be late, (since I’d agreed to take two of my neighbors who don’t drive) I was a nervous wreck.

My heart was pounding as we drove.  I think I chattered nervously most of the way there.  One of my neighbors who had known Paul longer than I did kept repeating “Poor Paul.”  She’s been saying that, with her Arabic accent, almost constantly  since he died, “Poor Paul, poor Paul….”  I tried to explain to her once that it’s really poor us since we’re the ones left behind with our grief and he’s finally without pain.  She just repeats, “Poor Paul, poor Paul.”  Well I guess whatever works for her.

paul on the coast

 

A brother’s loss

Living with Grief. One Father's Journey

Seriously… I am not doing well.

Holidays are hard. Grieving. Missing my son. Thanksgiving. Christmas…

I want to check out. Take a break. Get some kind of breather. But it is only a week until Christmas break, so taking even a single sick day seems a little lame. So I soldier on. I’ve been painting koi. And that helps. Koi.

I’ve done nothing about finding a new doctor or getting any kind of help for depression. And then my brother died a few weeks ago and the bottom seemed to fall out. And I just haven’t gotten around to it. Of course exercise would be a good thing. But I haven’t been doing that either.

I guess I was able to hold it together okay, and deal with what I need to do and take a trip to clean up Paul’s stuff. And then there was Thanksgiving. And then back…

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Closure?

paul and alicia kidTomorrow is Paul’s memorial.  I have such mixed feelings about it.  John upstairs is very excited!  He was his roommate, and they were so cute together bantering back and forth.  I don’t think I saw John smile or laugh very much except for those times.

One of the reasons I have mixed feelings is because I will probably never see his brothers, or any of his family members again.  Meeting is brothers was almost like seeing Paul again.  Well as least as close as it will ever get.

His brother wants me to read my previous post “In memory of Paul.”  This scares me to death since I would rather walk over hot coals than speak in front of a group of people.  I wish I had the nerve to do it, I’d love to do it for Paul’s sake.  But there’s no way I could get through it without crying anyway.  And if the roles were reversed I imagine he would feel the same, and that would be okay with me.

And I’m afraid I’m going to lose it completely anyway, and sob through the whole thing.  I’m thinking his family members will wonder,”Who’s that lady over there anyway, and why is she so out of control?”  Not being a family member I don’t feel like I have the right, as such, to be so devastated by his death.  Silly I know.

And then there’s the decision about what to wear.  I know it’s a very girl thing!  I’m behind on my laundry as usual, so I’ll have to choose what to wash.  Black is definitely out of the question.  I have a sort of tie dyed blouse and he used to call me a “hippie lady” when I wore it.  I’d like to wear it but it’s much to cold.  I’ll figure something out.

And closure?  I guess that’s the part I’m really dreading.  He’s gone and now we all have to acknowledge it.  I’d really rather not.

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