Tuesday, May 01, 2007

But I'm so Good At Melancholy....

I wanted to offer something light, but my heart just isn't in it...

I find that I'm having an almost ridiculously difficult time making the simplest of decisions for the upcoming summer. Slow, or non-existent decision making is not uncommon for me, but this feels more loaded.

I guess because a year ago on the evening before the last day of school, we got handed the bombshell. My brother had terminal cancer.
From that moment, until September 20 when his tired body quit, every plan was subject to change with no notice. We lived with the tension of uncertainty, with cell phones at the ready, prepared to do or be anything that was asked of us if it were to help Ken in any way.

I'm not exactly afraid that if I make some plans, something horrible is going to happen to my family this year. That sounds silly and superstitious to me.

I still feel indeterminate about last summer's defining events. I've not yet built constructs for all that it encompasses. I'm not even ready to really explore what Ken's life and death meant/did to me personally.

And now its time to lay plans for another summer.

Although the photo gives the feel of a perfect summer night, it wasn't, and the blur in it is completely appropriate. I'd had a major meltdown that day, and not in a socially acceptable way. I called a friend I'd not seen in years who drove straight to the hospital to pick me up, fed me dinner, and served me drinks.
She knew without being told what had transpired in my mind and body on that day.

I still wear the scars, and I've got no idea where to go to find a dayplanner that won't rip off every scab.


mmichele said...


gloria said...

I cannot say that I know how you feel, but I AM sorry that you HAD to feel it.

Anonymous said...

I'm really glad you had a friend you could call. I'd have felt privilaged to be the one serving. You are so real Joyce. I'm sure most people have days like you but are too frightened to admit it. You help people to feel ok about themselves. I love you

Anonymous said...

Perhaps This is will be "The Summer Without a Plan"....planning always leads to disappointment to some degree, for nothing is as perfect as how we envision it in our mind. Don't hurry yourself through your grieving process Joyce, although I must admit I have never experienced a loss as profound as yours..I do understand the need to dwell in sad places...it is where we are able to heal. I believe there will always be a place in your life that never seems quite right because of your brother's death and that is as it should be for he was a part of your life. It is okay to be sad and unsure...believe me when I say that and although the sadness and unsurety never goes completely away...it wreaks less havoc as time goes by. Be kind to yourself and approach each day this coming summer without too much planning and see what happens. I wish you comfort today. I have come to enjoy our 'conversations'.

Judy said...

Oh, Joyce.

I am so sorry.

Heather Plett said...

Four years since my dad's death, and still there are times of melancholy and listlessness. Give yourself time.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Joyce. The scars don't go away, but the scabs will heal. You sound like you're sad deep in your bones.

Anonymous said...

Plans, Shmans.
Planning is needed to some degree but mostly it's highly over-rated.
Do the necessary than Just Be.

Anonymous said...

it's "then- Just Be".
I don't think the anesthetic has worn off yet.

joyce said...

There is a certain amount of decision making that have to occur shortly. ie people will need to know when and whom I am accepting for daycare over the holidays. This is my main paralyzer. If I do very little work, there will be financial stress. If I do too much, there will be no spontaneity and no time.
As ever, I have over-thought.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that sexy picture of me...."looks" like we're having fun. Actually, we did have fun once in a while - hard to believe. We'll do this summer together.

VikingGirl said...

Hi Joyce, I don't know you, but I found your link on another blog, and I felt compelled to comment.
My mom died 6 1/2 years ago of cancer. I travelled across the world to see her 5 times in a year and a half. I never went anywhere where I couldn't be reached by phone, and I felt like the travel agent was always on hold on the other line. It was extremely stressful, and I was constantly drained and exhausted. At the time she died I was six months pregnant with my first child, and I made it to see her with just a few hours to spare before she passed on.
I still have scars - they are a tribute to our relationship, and so I will always have them. Every now and then a scar opens up into a wound, and I have to let it heal again, but generally I'm doing well.
I think the key is to not rush your healing. Take your time, and rest in Jesus.
I hope you solve your dilemma for the summmer.
Thanks for listening to my blabber.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I look in my closet when I try to decide what to wear, and last summer's clothes remind me of all the time I spent wearing them -- at the hospital. Yesterday's "retail therapy" helped. ... and being with you ... we'll make it through this summer as well.

lettuce said...

i'm sorry i haven't any words for you joyce, except that i'm here listening and feeling for you.

joyce said...

Elin- welcome and thank you.
Losing your mother as you anticipate becoming a mother.... that's just beyond words.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and I have enjoyed reading all the thoughtful comments left by your readers. I understand about making decisions and the results producing much financial stress....we are still trying to come out from under when I made the decision right out of graduate school to stay at home with my new baby....and also when she started school...to be able to drop her off and pick her up. We will never be where would like financially...but oh the memories I have of being home for my 'baby'...perhaps lightening your load over the holidays will be good 'family' therapy for you.

Anonymous said...

It is the absolute hardest thing in the world, losing loved ones...my heart is with you...Lindalew

Romeo Morningwood said...

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

I sincerely hope that you find a way to work through this. When my Father died I remember skipping denial, anger, and bargaining, and going straight to depression.
I hit acceptance about a decade later.

Whatever you do, don't watch Oprah!
Now she's peddling The Secret. HA!
How miserable can you be with $1,000,000,000 in your chequing account?