Monday, June 2, 2014

All I have

Hello my name is Debbie Downer.

I don't even really know what to say or if I was going to say something, where I would really start. Ben came home this afternoon, after being gone for a few days. He flew in last night but ended up staying the night at Bill's house as it was too late to drive. With tears in his eyes he said he didn't sleep much as it was tough being in that house alone. It has almost been 4 months since his mother died, and it isn't so much getting better as the consistency of the pain changes. And by consistency, I mean the texture of it--the palpability. Sometimes her memory is light and funny, sometimes it is comforting an gratitude-inspiring, and sometimes the reality of what we are missing weighs so heavy, it is sticky and slowing. All the time it is hard to grasp that she was an alive person and now she is a dead person. And she was such an alive person, so dynamic and funny, loving and up for any kind of adventure--that doesn't sound like a dead person to me.

When we told our kids that Christy had died, they didn't have too much of a reaction, at least not what I would have expected. So I was sad to tell them that Berdella, our tortoise had died, but not worried about it. I expected them to take it in stride and, I don't know, maybe realize that it wasn't as bad as their Grandma dying. We had already buried Berdella and put a little headstone up in our backyard when we gave them the news. Both Teddy and Elsie began to cry, and Elsie tried to dig her up. It didn't occur to me that of course they would take this news harder as now they know what death means. Not t mention that kids aren't big on that whole "perspective" thing.

I didn't realize that when we lost Christy we were also losing our Bollard family dynamic; we don't love each other any less, of course. But her absence effects everything we do, Bill not having someone effects everything we do. And now that Bill is dating we are facing all the issues of a "replacement"--whoever this woman ends up being will have an enormous effect on our families future--and it has driven home the point that it will never again be the way it was. "You're all I have" Ben said, before he walked out the door.

So much for keeping things light, if I had any mustard I would definitely use it to eat through the bars.