Is this what it's like?

24 November 2023

I don't have any good words right now. They're not eloquent or erudite. They're what has been running around in my head off and on for a few weeks. If you're expecting something that reads like a well polished and edited post, this probably isn't it.

I've been quiet for a while. I'd like to say that I was too busy to post and I had some awesome stuff going on, but that wasn't the case. It's a bit over two years since my mom died. I think that her estate is pretty well wrapped up - the taxes are paid, the bills are settled, the house is sold, and the bank is, as far as my attorney and I can discern, happy. Shenanagains haven't happened or required me to fly back to Pittsburgh in nearly a year (for this specific reason, anyway). Now that I'm not juggling paperwork constantly I have more processing power open.

So, the question is, now what?

When my grandfather died in 2017.ev it hurt, to be sure. He helped raise me, after all. But I wasn't directly involved in the day to day running of his estate, my mom did that. While she talked a little bit about it she didn't go into specifics so I don't know what was going on inside her head at that time (modulo a few instances of WTF that I might write about some time). I know full well that she took his his passing hard. I understand people well enough to know that this isn't even a question. But I don't know what it was like for her or how she handled it in her day to day life. She didn't say much about that as far as I know.

Running her estate meant I haven't had time to sit with her passing. I'm a very task-oriented being: I have A Thing To Do, it has to get done, and I'm going to get it knocked out one way or another. And I did. But I haven't grieved. I haven't processed everything surrounding her death, or at least I don't know if I have.

Lately I've been catching myself wondering what could have happened differently. What should I have said? What should I have not said? What could I have done differently? How should I have reacted at this time or that? What if I had pushed back on this or that or the other thing?

I thought I covered all those bases when she crashed and for the most part I thought I had. But now, sometimes, I'm not so sure. I've seen (and occasionally been) some weird shit. I've seen some weird shit. 1 Some of those things have taught me over the years to take full advantage of every chance you get, to say the things that you need to say so that you don't regret missing the opportunity later. I'm far from perfect but I think I've done a decent job of that over the years.

So, why am I wondering? Why am I second guessing myself? I am somewhat prone to alexithymia 2 but I don't know if that's it. Maybe it's because I was going through my phone the other day and I found a bunch of text messages from her that've been sitting there the whole time.

I'm trying to figure out what I want to say. I don't know if I have the language for things like this. I asked somebody about this a while ago and they said that yes, wondering what you could or should have done differently is part of the grieving process. Because you never really know. You can never really be sure.

Sorry to waste your time, folks.

  1. A silly and somewhat morbid story about that time: When mom was relatively clear-headed and talking with us a day later, she said (in her somewhat dry and sarcastic way, which I figured she'd earned by that point in her life), "So, you all just gave up on me?" Then one of the nurses who worked on her the day before poked her head in and said, "Nancy, none of us thought you were going to make it yesterday." That visibly caught her by surprise. 

  2. Mostly due to the hardware in my head.