Sunday, March 10, 2013

Why so silent

It's been an uncharacteristically quiet week at the keyboard for me. Not a lot of blogging here. Inbound personal emails piling up in the inbox. Social media channels like Twitter and Facebook gathering dust.

On the one hand, I haven't had the time. We got home late Monday and immediately dove into work and school. Not easy when your head isn't in the game, and every conversation you have with folks back home threatens to plunge you right back into the darkness from which you still haven't fully emerged and likely won't for months.

On the other hand, I haven't had the will. As cathartic as writing has always been to me, this time has proven somewhat different. I just haven't been able to push past the gloom to get myself to my laptop and flip it open. Or I'd reach that point, then stare at the blinking cursor, unsure of what I wanted to say. The words weren't flowing in my head as they usually do.

I've felt that my energy was needed elsewhere. Unlike three-ish years ago when we lost my dad, this wasn't my loss. She was my wife's mom, not mine. And I somehow thought that this would be a mitigating factor of sorts, a means of allowing me to stand slightly on the outside and freely help in any way I could. Instead, I felt weak, unable to be the rooted pillar I intended to be, unsure if anything I was doing was the "right" thing to do for those around me.

So I've been wrestling with the seemingly divergent perspective that I shouldn't be mourning as I am because she wasn't my mom, yet feeling like I've been hit by the grieving equivalent of a freight train because I called her mom, because she was so close to my wife, because in her own way she managed to weave her way around my life from the first moment I wandered into her home as a naïve 17-year-old, because she was a towering figure to our kids, because I don't know if I've been a good enough guide to our kids through this all, because I needed to do what I could for my father-in-law, because none of this should be about me, because...well, I could probably write reasons like this indefinitely.

Or maybe it was because I couldn't - and still can't - find the right words to make my wife smile. And after years of mentally preparing myself for this - sorry, but I think we all somehow churn future-thoughts like this even if we subsequently bury them deeply out of morbid guilt - I ended up rocked by my inability to simply write a script and follow it.

Because life has no script, and none of this was ever meant to be simple.


Kalei's Best Friend said...

Carmi, right now u are swimming in grief and hurt... Even tho u say you have a hard time writing, I have seen your posts these last few weeks and YOU are writing.. Just not on subjects you would normally do... the uplifting, humorous and informative ones... Oops, u have informed us... Your posts are your journal.. You've shared your hurt, the what-if's... I don't need to tell u to give it time... and I won't throw that old cliche to you because u have heard it countless times... Keep purging, it works...

Thumper said...

It says a lot about your MIL that you're grieving as hard as you are; I know when mine goes--and as much as I hate that play that goes on in one's head in attempts at preparation for this, I think we all try to write that script--I'll be devastated. In a way, it's a good thing, because...well, sometimes a MIL is more than that, as much a Mom as one's own.

Maybe it's just additionally tough to lose someone who loved you by choice, not because you're related by blood? I don't know. I know losing my FIL was far harder than losing my dad, but that was because of the circumstances. My dad left in sad increments over time and his passing was almost a relief; my FIL was there one moment and gone the next, and it felt so, so unfair.

Rambling, sorry...

I wish there were easy answers to grief. Yet just as equally I'm glad there aren't...being that wrecked by losing someone--I think it means we were so, so lucky to have loved and been loved by them.

rennratt said...

As a wife who lost a mum, please let me reassure you. It may feel like you aren't holding things together, that you "aren't the pillar". Make no mistake: you ARE.

Just being there, holding her, talking, not talking, listening, loving and supporting your bride? THAT is where you need to be. It may never feel "right". That's okay, too.

From the sounds of it, you had a pretty amazing mum-in-law, and an amazing grandmum to your kids. Grieve with them. Love them. Listen to them.

And call your father in law. Let him talk, talk back, cry if you need to. It may actually make HIM feel better to see your grief.

That said, I am so very sorry for your loss. Blessings, love and prayers to you and yours.

Miriam in KS said...

Here are the words one of my brothers said to me after my father-in-law died exactly 3 months after our mother had died:

"Sis, you've lost 2 parents this fall."

He will never know the gift he gave me that day by acknowledging my grief at the loss of two very important people in my life. (My father-in-law had been a part of half of my life when he died.)

My condolences to all of you as you navigate these waters once again.

Dawn said...

Silence is never a wrong or negative thing. Sometimes it is exactly what is needed for process. Make no mistake- you are doing and being exactly what you should/be.
Hugs to you and your sweet family.

Gilly said...

My mother-in-law was a Mum to me. Losses are always unexpected, however we expect them. You are doing the right thing by being there. Hug your wife and children, let them share in one another's grief.

and it WILL get easier, in time. I promise you.


Judy said...

Sorry for your family's loss...

MorahMommy said...

You have every right to grieve, I know I did when your dad passed away. My mom has been part of your life for over 28 years.

You have been this endless support for me. I could never get through this without you.

I love you,