I would stop waiting/ Stop crying/ Stop breathing in, too/ While you stay away so long/ I would stop calling/ Stop writing/ Stop faking/ Stop denying you’re as good as gone/ But I dunno/ So you just tell me what to say/ And I will say it to you/ I would do it for you/ I would burn this house down. . . – “Tell Me What to Say”, Black Lab
I feel like a husk, I said to Gordon. But not in like, a sexy teen angst sort of way. In a ‘there’s not much going on inside me right now’ sort of way.
I haven’t been blogging much lately. For me, when my hands go silent over the keyboard, it’s a sure sign that my internal landscape is fucked all to hell. If I can’t talk about it or write about it, it means it’s too big for me to process. My family was a small family to begin with, so every death hurts us to the core of our familial egregore. It’s not every family you would see second cousins wracked with sobs from the loss of one of the greatest of us.
There are only five of the younger cousins left now. We lost Anthony the week before I got married the first time. My sister has been the only one of us to have a child thus far. You want to know what ancestral grief really feels like? Try living with the knowledge that your whole family could die out with your generation. No one to tend our graves, no one to tell our stories, no one to remember us.
We try to make light of it at my uncle’s wake. We elect my cousin A. to have more kids even though her two are in college now and she indigently replies that she’s served her time and demands a pardon. I harass my mom why didn’t her gener have more kids or our grandparents have more kids and she could certainly adopt a few more kids if she wanted to do her bit for hearth and family. We carefully lay out a plan for my cousin M. where he could marry (5) Fundamentalist Mormon Wives but they need to be:
1. The fun Sister Wives type
2. All able to have at least (5) children each
3. Which means, (3) will need to be in the workplace while the other (2) mind the children which is very near daycare ratio so it’s perfectly legitimate
4. He needs blueprints from a good house from Utah that’s meant for five wives (individual kitchens, all connected, large backyard) so we can construct it here in the NY/NJ/PA area
There! Problem solved! 25 kids for M. is conservative by Fundamentalist Mormon standards and he could probably get away with only having 15 kids total which would put him in day care ratio with all of his wives.
But really, in quiet moments at my uncle’s wake, we looked at each other worriedly. What would become of us? How do we account for being the ones who let it all go?
It’s a lot to manage. It’s a lot to even think about. Especially with my Vulcan doctor’s cheerful deadlines looming.
Right now I just feel unraveled. I’m trying to navigate the holiday season as a crafter, keep my shit together at work, plan the holidaze both for Thanksgiving at my mom’s house and what will surely be a painful Christmas Eve . . .if we could decide who’s host/essing it. Trying to buy presents for all the impending birthdays and holidaze. Sometimes, I feel like I’m always behind. Running, running, running, trying to keep up. For moments, I feel almost normal. Drinking wine and watching television with Jow. Going through a full beauty regime so that I feel not unkempt. Planning my next book, reading and snorting unhappily about being required to be scholarly about about magic, something that never came to me from books but from mentors and discourse, making critical “hrumphs!” in bed to express my disagreement with various authors. I try to focus myself to things I can understand; curing olives for my mom’s side, trying a second batch of pumpkin cordial, baking gingerbread, organizing Spare Oom, keeping my house far tidier than it has ever been doing a craft season. Busying myself with my tiny charges, giving them as many hugs and kisses as they’ll stand. Plotting out a novel, plotting out my crafting future, figuring out my diet, pondering how to be a completely competent adult. But I always slide back to the things that I can never understand and fester on who I’m supposed to be according to who and what I’m supposed to accomplish. Am I wasting my Motherhood?
I don’t know.
I just know that I feel empty and it will be some time before I feel right.
p.s. In case you are new-ish and you don’t know what to do when someone you know has someone they love die, please read my Etiquette Lesson on the subject.