The yearn for magical thinking

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.

It’s uncomfortable.

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.

 

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