When Uncle Cor was dying, I did everything I could to try and stop it.
Somehow, my heart said, if I stayed at the hospital every night and made sandwiches for everyone and and read book after book aloud to a man in a coma, somehow it would be Enough.
It would make up for all the times I wasn’t there.
It would stop the inevitable.
It would stop my pain.
I didn’t really believe it, of course, but the allure of magical thinking is irresistible when it comes to so helpless an emotion as grief.
Yet here I find myself, again, running from errand to errand, focusing on getting my mother fed and my parking paid in a futile attempt to out-run the oncoming storm.
My grip on reality is weakening.
My metaphors become wild, my need to eat evaporates and I can no longer remember whether things happened in a dream, if I’ve slept.
This is the way we die, now. In a haze of planning and perfectionism. With TMI death plans and too little said about how we actually feel about it.
So I sit.
I plant my feet on the ground, my butt on the ground.
I let myself — make myself — feel the feelings.
Painful, now, as they come into focus.
I had so much time but I didn’t use it right and now it’s too late. This idea bubbles up, encircling me and — … the bubble bursts, as I accept what’s happening.
So I try to use this time, to sit with my feelings and process them. So I can go back in tomorrow and leave the magical thinking behind.
So I can truly be there, for her, finally.