Slowing down and putting life back into normal speed now. It was a busy couple of days with over 250km put on the car running from here to there and back again. Sometimes, I enjoy the hectic schedule that I can barely keep straight in my mind because it keeps my thoughts from going to other places. It was fun to scream in public and cheer on the boys but that is over with for a day now and I am happy to be back to normal. I am frozen to the bone, the minus 40 wind-chill mixed with sitting on ice and having a drafty old house definitely aren’t conducive to being warm.
Yesterday night I found myself in the graveyard instead of on the way home. I sat there in the car staring down the row to where my cousin is. I can remember the names of many of the people in his row from visiting so often and taking care to not step on anyone. The solar light I placed on his grave nearly 3 years ago is no longer working, so this summer I will have to find another one with the shepherds hook to place next to his headstone. It bothers me to think that he goes to bed each night without a nightlight, laying cold and stiff in a cemetery full of bodies. I often sit there and think he died when I was 9, which is about 18 years ago. I asked the funeral home 3 years ago how long an embalmed body lasts and they told me that if the casket is made of something that doesn’t break down quickly that after ten years there should only be a small amount of mold on a properly embalmed body. I wonder with it being nearly double that what shape his body is in. Does he still look at peace or is his flesh rotting away, maybe he is merely a box of bones by now. I can still picture his almost black hair done so nice and his bluish color casket sitting over the grave as people sobbed and cried. I feel like I am trying to fill in gaps, either for myself, or for him. I was so young; I shouldn’t remember all that I do. Some of what I do remember I wasn’t even there for (example, I never saw his body, yet I know how he looked).
I don’t understand why I have this extreme desire to go sit there and silently think.
I don’t like it as much now that my grandma is buried behind him in the next row, I feel like she listens to me and continues to judge me even now that she is dead. I really hate to say it, but I have a lot of contempt towards her. I thought when she died that I would be able to forgive her transgressions against me, but I haven’t been able to. I haven’t wanted to. Now that she has passed I feel even more motivated to walk away from the “family”. I have the papers to change my last name. I just haven’t done it yet because I am not sure if I want to not have the same last name as my children. Part of me wants to hold onto my last name because I do have respect for my Grandpa. He never hurt me the way the rest of the family has. He never betrayed me or became a traitor and it is his last name that I carry, not hers, yet somehow I feel like I am connected in ways I don’t want to be because of this name.
I remember seeing the shadows darting about while I was in the bathtub on that May 1st, it was a Saturday. I got out knowing those shadows meant death. I was drying off when the phone rang and my mom told me my grandma was dead. I called my grandpa and asked if he wanted me to do anything. He asked me to go to the old age home where she was being cared for as she was suffering from dementia and was getting progressively violent.
When I went into her room she was lying in bed, her arms folded gently across her, her mouth gaping open as all bodies seem to do as their soul escapes. She was empty. She was a body that didn’t even look like her. My aunt was crying and she hugged me. I told her some Christian quote about death to make her feel better. I requested a minister and the doctor to explain what happened. I call him doctor death as he is always the one who seems to give me the news. My dad stood in the corner looking on in a very stoic manner. Maybe he wasn’t sure if he should cry or be grateful that she was no longer suffering. The rest of the family slowly trickled in to say their goodbyes and see for themselves that she was in fact dead. I sat in the window like a shadow in the dark and watched as the iced rain fell.
I thought about the irony of it all. My uncle (knuckle Gary) was out of town with my aunt as her mom had passed away only days before. The plane had barely landed when he got the call that his mom had also died. In a way, I thought this was good. For most spouses they can only support each other but never really understand when their parent dies, but in this case they both lost their mothers, they were both mourning. My aunt’s mom’s funeral was on the Thursday I believe. My grandma’s viewing was on May 7th, the funeral on May 8th, and the burial was on the 10th. I don’t know why they decided to drag it out like she was the queen or something. A three day funeral was my first, and hopefully my last. Only a small group of the 400 of us attended the burial. We then went to my uncle’s house and had some spiked coffee. I couldn’t think about much else but the irony.
I recall complimenting my aunts brother’s girlfriend (now wife) Linda, who sang amazing grace with a southern accent graveside. She did an awesome job with one of my favorite songs. She just broke out singing as we all stood there like confused fools.
She died when my baby girl would have been due had she survived.
I was and maybe still am mad at her for trying to steal that date from me.
On May 2nd, the day after her death, I was sitting on the bed thinking about my little girl and I looked at the clock and it was eleven in the evening. I was in bed for the night. Wearing my jammies and thinking about my lost babies. The next thing I know, I am in the graveyard on Todd’s grave, in the iced rain, soaked to the bone and fully clothed. I had and still have, no recollection of what transpired between eleven pm on the second and two am on the 3rd that resulted in me being a 20 minute drive from home in a graveyard soaked and crying. I picked myself up, in a zombie like state and went to my running car. The gas tank was full and it had been on empty, so I knew I had stopped somewhere to get gas. The dog was in the backseat and when I read the clock and saw I had lost some three hours of time I was scared.
I went home.
The next morning, I went to the doctor.
I was diagnosed with having a dissociative fugue caused by the stress of everything that had transpired during what is already a hard time for me. I was given fast acting dissolving sedatives to get through the next few weeks. Had I not had to deal with funerals and what not, I likely would have been hospitalized.
I was even more broken.
I was scared.
There is no worse feeling then knowing that you suffer from suicidal ideations and knowing that you can slip into a dissociative state and do anything in that time frame without having any awareness of it when you come back to this side of reality. For the first time in my life I was scared of myself. If I could get gas, drive, get dressed, but the dog in the car, etc., all without knowing it, what else am I capable of?
It is that very break that causes me worry now. Next time I may not be so lucky, I may never wake up because I killed myself and didn’t even know it. That is scary. That is fear. That is the scariest lack of control I have ever had in my life.
Today, February 11th, is my ex’s birthday. It gives me chills to type that. Another year gone by, if I am not mistaken he is 31 today. I don’t remember celebrating his birthday 7 years ago. I suppose it was likely traumatic and I blocked it out. I have blocked out a lot of things, some of which come back to me in the forms of nightmares or flashbacks. I am mad at myself for blocking stuff out. It’s weird to think that in order to learn from the past I have to forget so much of it and it is scary to think that I KNOW this was a week of hell for me yet everything I do recall from that week is in fragments, like a shattered mirror that can never be fixed no matter how much glue you use, the cracks will always be there. Seven more days and it will be seven years from that fateful night.