Wednesday, March 28, 2007

This is going to be a tough one and I don't even know why I'm going to post this. But I am.

Mom & Dad had an agreement that, when they pass, neither one wants a service. The reasons are their own and, quite honestly, I'm glad. Although I feel very strongly that when the time comes we should celebrate their lives, I also have mixed feelings about the whole thing.

I've always found it strange when people close the casket then go to a room next door for sandwiches and refreshments. I find it awkward - the back slappin', "how you doin" small talk that seems to be part of every service I attend. Maybe I'm the weirdo, I don't know. I just don't feel like talking about new shoes when I've just viewed Uncle Bob. I need time to reflect, to make peace, to cry. Devilled egg just doesn't help me with that.

So it's been decided...a small gathering of us will meet at Garry Point (my favorite spot....the one in the pictures in the previous post) and do something very private. This is the park that my grandfather used to frequent every evening. Funny, I used to bump into him there a lot - it was like our little secret. Mom & Dad will have a bench dedicated to them there, like the one pictured.

Dad fished in the river here and, when Mom was paralyzed and too scared to stay home alone, he'd take her with him on the little herring skiff. It was a nightmare...he worked his ass off. She had a lawnchair and they'd stay up all night - him running back and forth between tending to the net, steering the boat and catering to Mom's needs. One reason I'm a little anti Greenpeace is that they confronted my parents and nearly swamped them one night (intentionally). They were protesting the fisherman's killing of the seals - my Dad wasn't involved in that. He was just trying to make a living and, despite the fact that he informed them that he had his handicapped wife on board with him (just the two of them), they became very aggressive and confrontational anyways. They weren't the "civilized" kind of protesters - they were the radicals you see who often care little about the cause but are just out to raise shit. Scared the hell out of Mom. Well, here I am, sidetracked already. But being at this spot floods my memory with things.

Mom came very close to drowning here when she was young. She learned to float on her back about two miles up river when the current got ahold of her. It carried her down the river, past the canneries and she was all but gone until a worker on the dock jumped in and got her to shore. It all happened over the span of a couple of miles that's right along my biking route - I'll take pictures sometime. Miraculous that she survived. And she never dared to swim after that. Ever.

So back to my original topic, of how the family will react when they learn of "no service". I know this seems selfish and petty, but it's important to us that we do things as we always have...on our own. And, in all honesty, nobody in the family gave a flying fuck when we were down and out. Noone bothered with Mom for the past 20 years when she was paralyzed - her sister drove past the house a couple of times a week on her way out for lunch, yet she never offered to take Mom along. Too much work, lugging the wheelchair out and helping her with simple tasks. Her brother's a fucking big shot in Calgary who hasn't bothered at all. Although he comes out here, she's not on his to do list anymore. Since Dad stopped giving him freebies. I know I sound bitter...I am. I've accepted that people don't know how to deal with Mom's situation, but they might've at least tried. I didn't know how to deal with it either...but I've winged it as I've gone along. And it's been a lonely journey...some moral support (mostly for Mom's sake) would've been nice. But, people are busy - you know.

So I know they'll all be shocked when the time comes. They'll flock here with the intention of gathering to grieve and basically bullshit about how much they cared. Reality is, I can count on one hand the people that showed they cared. And they'll be at that private little service that we do.

I guess this is making me a bitter, angry person, I feel it. Mom's near the end...each night rips my heart out. Tonight was a doozie. Actually, every night is. She hasn't eaten in days. She's hallucinating and making little to no sense. And we got the bomb dropped this afternoon...Dad's in more trouble than we thought. His aneurysm has bulged beyond the danger zone and tomorrow he goes in to get the ball rolling on things...more surgery. It's the 50/50 kind...I know it all too well. Mom had it twenty years ago and it's what caused her stroke and subsequent paralysis.

And how are you supposed to react when your dying mother says "will you come with me when I die? I'm scared". I'm fucking mad at the world tonight. May as well call this Deb's depression blog of shit because that's what it is. But, in just typing the words it releases it and I can start to let it to. For tonight. Watching someone slowly, painfully die is about the worst thing that could happen. Especially when there's nothing you can do to help them. This is a roller coaster ride and I'm sorry to subject you all to it. I try each day to do things to pull out of it, but sometimes it just consumes me. This would be one of those times.

Fuck I've had a shitty day.

A glass of wine is calling me.


Blogger Deb said...

and my boss was a bitch today (like most days) and I got a letter that will probably have me seeking legal counsel. It's a shit hit the fan day. If you made it this far, you're a better man/woman than I am.

Tomorrow will be better. And no comments are necessary...this was but a release for me. It's always helped me to write things out, done it for years (long before my blogging days). It helps to "put it away", temporarily.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous kelly said...

there was so much there and I read it all. Enjoyed is not the right word, but when I read posts like this I appreciate what you put into it and how you put it out for all to see...I thinks its a good release...I am one of those who could never do that...I think your way is better....besides...for me to write more than 6 lines would be something

11:13 PM  
Blogger LaLa said...

I always find it hard to find the "right" words to say after reading a post like this. I respect your honesty and wish you and your family all the best as you make your way thru these trying times. You're a heck of a woman.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

thanks guys...I always feel guilty about posting these, what should people say to this?

I truly appreciate the support. And writing it out (and the glass of wine) have helped. Plus, Linds is singing upstairs, which always cheers me up.

Again, thanks. You're the best, seriously.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Toccata said...

I've been sick so I'm not blogging or blog hopping this week. I figure I need to conserve my energy for my students. That said, I have been hitting your page each night because of everything that has been going on in your life.

Ok this is kind of weird because I started out with a lot to say but I can't capture the words. Just know I'm thinking about you and your family. Take care and give those kids of yours a hug. Oh, hey check this out it: I think you just might like it. If I were there with you now I would give you one myself. (That will make sense when you view it.)

I realize in BC it's a bit of a no no but I too despise Greenpeace because of incidents like what happened to your parents. That is disgusting and furthers nothing environmentally. Their statistics are extremely suspect and biased and they constantly use outdated data. But hey, any organization where the person that came up with the idea and started it quits, because he doesn't like the direction they are going in should know they are doing something wrong.

Take care Deb.

12:22 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

thanks're the best.

Sorry to hear you're's sure gone around this year. You take care of yourself because we miss you when you're not blogging.

I'm so relieved that someone else knows about Greenpeace. I'm all for what they originally stood for but, like the recent "protest" we had here in Vancouver, sometimes it's just an excuse for rowdies to go out and create problems. That was the case with the ones that confronted Mom & Dad...they were complete idiots.

Going to check out that link now. Thanks again for being here.

1:04 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

tc...I LOVED that link...played it three times. Linds came down and I showed it to her but, of course, she'd already seen it (like everything I try and show her).

1:19 AM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

What you said about funerals or "wakes" -- aren't they the parties afterwards you were talking about? I remember at my grandad's one this one distant uncle came in REALLY depressed -- guess why? Because Nottingham Forest had done really bad at the football that day!!!

Also I found being asked how I was doing in my schoolwork by nearly everyone I spoke to there who was older than me really distracting not to mention irrelevant.

I have just paused to try & drag something "wise" or meaningful from my deep well of a mind but nothing gives and I don't want to degenerate this into cliched/faintly patronizing platitudes you know the kind of stuff I mean; I will just leave it with I am thinking of you. & take care of yourself.

4:38 AM  
Blogger junky said...

everyone does it different (as far as wakes go), but the main thing is you honor their request, and damn anyone who feels different.

I'm a lot Irish so are thing is oldest son spends first night with the body, and a bottle of whiskey, we hang a wreath on the door so anyone can come in, and drink for a week, then all the men have a final toast of whiskey with the deceased. weird I know but we have been doing it for hundreds of years now.

every family is different and I think that makes a sad time like that special.

9:11 AM  
Blogger traceylee said...

Wow Deb, I came over to your blog from tk's to ask you about Vancouver but I started to read your post and I was in tears by the end of it. It was a moving post and touched me deeply. By the sounds of it you are a strong woman and the back bone of the family.

Be strong Deb and my thoughts are with you and your family.

I wish I was there so I could give you a warm fuzzy, so I send you a BIG HUG!!!

9:36 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

I can't even begin to imagine how difficult this is for you, with both your parents in peril.

My thoughts are with you, and your whole family.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Gled - it's that sort of stuff that makes it really uncomfortable for me...the "small talk" that I just can't participate in when I'm mourning someone. I'm not good at faking it I guess.

junky...that seems very "real" to me, I could do it that way. The thing is, I don't want a bunch of people to show that I know are there to "be seen" and to "see" who else is there and make golf dates. If you want to sit down and have a laugh (followed by a cry) over memories, that's what it's all about to me. But the bullshit that has nothing to do with the deceased is what I've been experiencing lately., sorry. What in intro to my walk into the soap opera that is my life. A rough spot that offers no Mom's my best friend so it's crushing. Not that losing parents isn't always that way. Thanks for your're a lovely person.

Barb...I keep dragging you guys in but I know just have a way of making it somewhat survivable for me. I thank you, again. You're a true friend for sticking it out with me.

11:34 AM  
Blogger traceylee said...

No need to apologize Deb, I've been there. My father passed away when I was a teenager and my mom, well like you and yours, my mom is my best friend. That's why it sadden me to read your thoughts.

I'll be back to check up on you!!!

"Warm Fuzzy's"

12:09 PM  
Blogger whitenoise said...

Deb, don't worry about putting this stuff out for us- that's what we're here for. You're going through a tough time, you need support. We're here for you. Best wishes.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous kelly said...

you can't say toccata is the already said i was?....omg you were lying to me....actually i think you were just trying to make her feel better since she's sick..ok we'll let her think that

3:16 PM  
Blogger 668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

i can only offer you this from my own experience. i've lost both my parents, and my dad's funeral was a nightmare. mainly because we had to change the entire thing to suit other members of the family and we ended up being unhappy and feeling like we let our dad down.

so, i say to you this. screw everyone else (i am sorry, i don't mean it to sound so harsh). the most important thing is what your parents want and what you want. end of story.

and i appreciate the fact that you share these moments with others. make sure you take care of yourself.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

traceylee...that must've been so rough, losing your Dad when you were young. So sorry to hear that. Having a Mom as a best friend makes us pretty lucky, doesn't it? My kids too...I've been blessed to have such awesome people in my life.

whitenoise...the support keeps me going - truthfully. are priceless. I'm so glad you're here.

thanks 668, I hear what you're saying and I'm glad we're only doing what Mom and Dad want, despite the fact that we're sure some will have pretty strong opinions against it. Too bad is my thought on it all.

I'm sorry to hear that you felt that way about your Dad's service. And about both of your rough this life can be. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me...I'm set on things being exactly as Mom and Dad want them (and I hate even thinking about it...reality though).

12:33 AM  

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