Friday, February 11, 2011

Grief: Family

I'm sorry for not posting sooner.  I can write about this because my daughter doesn't read my blog.  She is a wonderful woman with purple hair and a great laugh who is 36 and lives in Seattle.  I am in NYC.  She had said that she wanted to move to the east coast to be nearer to me and even went as far as looking at houses in Boston.  When I turned 60 last week something happened and having her be close to me became extremely important. We had met in Los Angeles and had a great time together.  As a birthday present to myself I decided to tell her how I felt before I left.  She is my only family now that my husband is dead.  I didn't mean to cry but I did.  I told her that even though I was doing all this great and fun stuff that there were a lot of times when I was frightened and alone and I loved her very much and I needed her near me.  She thought she was being generous to build some kind of room for me on her property in Seattle - which stirred things up - for the first time in my life I am living my life for me - not for her (I was a single parent) or for my husband.  I had to say that I didn't want to spend a lot of time in Seattle.  I can't do what I am doing here and be across the country a lot.  Also, she is trying to get pregnant and I wanted to be a hands on grandmother if she succeeds.

Anyway - she called me and said that she decided not to move - that she was happy in Seattle and would stay there and I should be positive about it.  Didn't succeed at that!   My head believes that she is a grown woman with the right to make her own choices.  My heart wishes I had a daughter that would find it a joy to move somewhere closer to me.  I didn't ask her to live with me or take care of me - just be close.  So now we have this very uneasy relationship - because when she calls I can't manage to be all excited about everything she is doing.  I always say I'm grieving not depressed - but since her decision I have been depressed.  Luckily I have a lot of friends I can talk to about this - but the truth is I feel very abandoned.  I know it's selfish but I wanted her to choose me instead of friends she has known for only a short time.  It's hard when you make yourself vulnerable to someone and they care but not so much as to change their behavior.

So that is what has been going on with me and why I haven't been writing.  I am leaving for Russia with my best woman friend on Wed. and will be glad to be away for over two weeks away from all the drama. (Of course, I'm bringing Artie's Yankee jacket - I never go anywhere without it now!)  I've always been very independent and never minded being alone.  However, the combination of turning sixty and my husband being dead seems to have knocked all the bravado out of me.  I do have friends - and I am making more - but all of a sudden family seems more important than it has in the past.  I'm not very good at acceptance.  I love her very much but I'm so hurt that I can't pretend to be happy when I'm not which makes her not want to talk to me.  If I was 36 and in her position I might make the same decision.  I can't tell.  I just know that I don't like hurting this much.

I know that it happens in a lot of families that when someone dies we need family members to support us in ways they either can't or don't understand which is why I am sharing this today.  I am trying to follow my own advice and keep moving and get some things done but it is very difficult.  Yesterday was the first day in many weeks that we didn't speak on the phone.  I had always said how supportive she was - but she said that when we talk I do all the talking.  That's not true - but I know what she's saying.  Her clock is up for me to be upset about Artie's death and she doesn't want to hear about it anymore.  I have heard that from so many people - that family and friends don't want to listen after a certain amount of time.  I never thought it would happen with my daughter. 

It's a different generation - I don't want to have a phone it in relationship - I don't want to skype - I want to be with her in person.  I thought she wanted the same thing.  That's what I get for assuming something would happen that isn't going to.  When I'm still grieving it's hard to deal with other kinds of hurt - especially big ones.

I finally called the new accountant that was recommended to me - and he wants to see me before I leave - which means I have to get all my papers together by Monday.  That will keep me busy!  Thank goodness for DVDs.  :)  Marty - my woman friend I am travelling with - is coming on Tuesday and she is someone who gets it - she wrote me a poem for my birthday because she said they don't make birthday cards for women with dead husbands. She also sent me a magnet with a dog and the caption "Sometimes I want to pee on the whole wide world." 

I will be glad when Valentine's Day is over.  I have the last card Artie sent me framed with a picture of the two of us together - he wrote me a poem - drew a picture of us holding hands - and wrote a note.  It is my forever Valentine.  Not easy being in love with a dead person.  Not easy having a daughter that says she doens't want to be near me any more. 

What's my job now?  To stay alive.  To keep looking for the good things - there are plenty - and try to feel them all the way through.  When it gets dark it's hard to see the light - no, I see the light.  It's hard to appreciate it.  All that love for me out there - and it's not coming from the two people I most want it from - okay Artie - I know it's coming from you but it was a lot easier when you had a body! and okay Erin - I know you love me - but it would be a lot easier if I could see you two or three times a month - and if I knew you wanted the same things I do.

Whine.  Moan.  Cry.  That's the way it is right now.  Hard to let go of wishes and dreams.  Hard to make the new wishes and dreams more important than the impossible old ones.  Thank you all of you who share this journey with me.  I hope you are haivng a better time than me right now!!   xo

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