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Archive for the ‘Sad’ Category

Well, I didn’t hate Christmas. It didn’t suck. Surprisingly. Though I did have a few moments where I wanted to hurl myself off of the mountain side because the physical pain would have felt much better than the waves of grief that shoved me hard underwater at random and unexpected times. I found myself muttering dumb dead sister; sad and mad and totally resistant to the fact that I had to be without her. I’m just glad it’s over.

But all in all it really was ok. I mean, we didn’t have to spend 20 hours in the car to see our family–AND Dan and I got to stay in a hotel while Grandma Judy supervised the cousins sleepover party at the Noyes house. Sleeping in never felt so good. I also must mention the hours that Sadie and Grampa John (Smith) spent together watching the strongest man contest on ESPN. I kept hearing Sadie gasping and yelling Grampa! That guy just pulled a TRUCK with his BARE HANDS! And then he would make some comments and I would hear him chuckling. She was so into it.  I think it was a highlight for him too. Nothing like a FULLY ALIVE six year old to ease the pain of loss–even if for a short time.

Now that I’m back, I’m concentrating on making some changes that I think will help lift the funk I’ve been living under. As usual, it starts with my House. I’ve been so paralyzed since August. Not like I was super house functional before (um…….) but for the last few months it’s been TORTURE to do even the smallest thing around the house. I’ve done a lot of wandering and napping and more than my share of self-loathing. I’ve felt lost and listless and just plain despondent. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that grief hangs on and hangs on and looks sometimes like depression and/or laziness and a lot of times like personal failure. But I’m not going to beat myself up anymore. I’m not going to stare helplessly around me and believe that I cannot move forward, because I can. I can take teeny tiny steps–I can start small and declutter one shelf, one drawer, one lazy susan at a time. I can decide to look through a smaller frame and refuse to be overwhelmed. I can believe that I don’t have to be perfect.

Also, I’m going to do a lot of running. I need all the endorphins I can get.

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Sometimes I just want to throw up the badness. Or, I wish I could find the Depression-Off-Switch. At least I’d like to get some kind of schedule of WHEN I am going to feel horrible. I don’t even know what it is. The grey skies? The holidays without Tate? The tuna melt I had for dinner?

So I’m feeling so emotionally saggy–like gravity is pulling my face DOWN–and I have to go to Awana and play the tambourine. Yeah. I have a gig. I take my yellow charismatic professional-grade instrument and provide stellar percussion to the likes of The B-I-B-L-E or I’ve Got a River of Life or This is the Day. Children from ages 3 to 13 rock out to my beat. I’m actually part of the ‘band’. Someone plays the piano, there are a couple guitars, a saxophone and a guy that leads the songs. Normally I’m pretty excited (and I act like I’m the leader of the band as a joke, but they don’t always get it–like they think I’m all serious about it and don’t know that I am so aware that it takes SO LITTLE TALENT to play…)–but I had to DRAG myself down there tonight. Then when I got there, I actually had fun playing.  Maybe I generated some seratonin between jangles. Then I came back and remembered that I felt bad.

I forgot my point. Pass me the Prozac.

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I was stretching at the gym earlier, and I was a little bit startled to see Tate’s feet. I had her little footie socks on that she always wore, and my brain changed my wide, chunky feet to her delicate, dainty ones–including her little chicken ankles.  I swear, I was wearing my sister’s feet, like pretty little sock-shoes. I blinked and they were my feet again, but how BIZARRE.

I wish I could talk about something else, but this is it, and here we are.

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Today was a rough one. I was listening to my ipod, bopping around–unloading the dishwasher happy as you please–when I heard this tiny snippet of a song. It reminded me of a song that my mom used to play when my sister Tate and I were little. It wasn’t even the SAME song. It just reminded me of it. I gasped and was surprised when the crushing weight of grief just pounded me. Now I know where the feelings were hiding. I just cried and sobbed and kept saying to God “I want my sister back. Please send her back.”

Tate and I had this joke about the times when we were super-over-the-top emotional. We would say ‘that one goes into our Pathetic Scene File.’ As if there were a notecard box that held all our sad, dramatic moments. I thought of that when I was laying on the kitchen floor in a heap with my nose running (I figured it would be easier to clean than the living room carpet…) Yup, Tate. Definitely one for the File.

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What happens if all I feel is a giant, heavy, Blah? It’s like a big rock is just sitting on my stomach. Sometimes I am afraid that I’m not dealing with my sister’s death at all, so I write in my journal over and over: Tate is gone. Tate died. My sister died. I have a dead sister. My sister is dead. –just to make myself FEEL the reality. But I wonder where the feelings are. I can explain the entire hospital ordeal to anyone who asks with clinical detachment. I can talk about lawyers and wrongful death and exhuming like it was something I saw on a show. I guess I’m wondering, no fearing, that all of a sudden, I’ll pass out when it truly hits me.

I’m waiting for it to hit me.

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I was doing ok today until I went to Tate’s Myspace page. I watched the images of her slideshow go by, and I just sat here and choked out sobs. She looks so happy in the pictures. So fun to be around. So smiley and gorgeous. The conflict for me is that I haven’t seen her in that way these past few years. All I have been able to see was her neediness–this bottomless hole that sucked all my air away when I was with her. There was always drama, always a crisis. Always some desperate attempt for my (everyone’s) approval.

How do I reconcile this? I’m so sad that I missed her before she was even gone.

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My little sister Cindy and I stood looking into Tate’s casket on Wednesday night and asked each other, ‘Is this it? I mean, have we actually accepted this? Are we still in denial? Shock?’ Because after the initial horrible-ness of seeing her laid out–actually dead–in the funeral home, we sort of got used to it. It’s just that I KNEW that my sister wasn’t there. It didn’t look like her. It didn’t feel like her. It was like a grim representation of her, like she had put on a freakish Tate costume for halloween.

Not that we didn’t greive. I cried so much over the past few days that my head JUST NOW has stopped hurting. Maybe our bodies can’t take it all in at once. The loss of it all. Sometimes I feel like someone who has lost their leg, but they still feel it itching. I kept looking around the funeral home for Tate to make some comment about something that I knew would make her laugh. All these people came through the line to see her, and for a minute, I forgot why they were there. Some of them I hadn’t seen for years, and I kept yelling out their names like an excited sports announcer. Then I would glance sideways and catch a glimse of Tate in the casket, laying there in her Steelers jersey and realize that maybe I was being too loud. They hadn’t been there for hours and hadn’t seen her in the hospital and the shock of seeing her there didn’t match my excitement of seeing them. It was all so conflicting and bizarre.

I took a walk in the woods today, and it started to rain. I was so comforted by the sound of it and by the dim green softness. I was thinking about heaven, and how it blows my mind that someone I know so imtimately is actually on the other side. I was asking her what it was like, and wondering if she could see me there, in the rain, crying.

I’m not sure how to navigate this grief.

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