My doctor died and I’m really sad

I had this great doctor. He helped me get through a very rough and frightening time. And he died. Suddenly. Like I saw him a couple of weeks ago and have a prescription in my purse suddenly. When I got the letter from his office I thought maybe I had an overdue bill or something.

All those things that people write for condolences, saddened, shocked, I really feel that. He’d been someone I knew I could go to with my health issues. He’d made me feel like we were partners in my health care. He was kind, conscientious and a little bit weird. Just my kind of person.

This is the first time I’ve felt this way about someone I wasn’t related to. I’ll find another doctor, but I won’t find another him.

Bruised

We lost another cat last night.  “Let go” would probably be a better description.   We’d had her for almost 19 years and she had deteriorated drastically over the last couple of weeks.  It was time for her to go.  Her life had become misery.  She’s the second cat to die this year.

I can’t say that I’m used to it, because I’m not.  But after losing several cats to old age, you sort of resign yourself to the inevitability of it all.  That resignation doesn’t make it hurt any less.

The last couple of years have felt like the universe is reminding me that nothing is permanent.  They’ve been years all about loss.  First Dad, then Mom-in-law, then Kitt, now Sprite.  It seemed like we’d lost Mom, but then found her again. 

Some losses feel like being stabbed and some leave a bruise.  And species isn’t a reliable method of telling which will be which. 

Still with all the pain I could never choose a life without pets.  I’ve always shared my life with animals and probably always will.  I’ve always enjoyed trying to see the world from their very different point of view. 

I’m not one of the people who dress their pets up in silly clothes and have birthday parties for them.  Even though my pets are my children in that I’m responsible for their care, I don’t mistake them for humans.  They have different drives and needs.  I can’t imagine anything more stressful and less pleasant for our cats than having a birthday party for them.  Strange animals and strange people in their home.  No way.  If I want to celebrate my cat’s birthday, I open up a can of tuna.

Unexpectedly painful

Going to have lunch today with Mom and her caretaker. I was looking around for a card for him; I usually have some generic cards around for emergencies. I found a pile of cards I’d purchased a long time ago and hadn’t looked at since. There were birthday cards and Father’s Day cards for my Dad and cards for my Mom-in-law. It was unexpectedly painful to see them and know that I won’t be able to give them to them.

She can’t go home again

And I so wish she could. Sometimes I wish I could, too.

But home isn’t a place. It’s people. The people you love.

I saw what her dream was, home. Her home had her husband and her children in it. It broke mt heart to tell her that the home of her memory doesn’t exist anymore. Dad isn’t there. All of her children are grown and gone. Her home is not where her family is any more.

I wish there was a way to fix this. To give her a little bit of happiness at this point in her life. She’s worked so hard. Made our family a family.

Harder to bear

I find that Christmas is getting harder to bear the closer I get to the day.

And it’s not the memories that make me sad. The memories make me happy. Listening to the old Christmas songs make me feel more connected to Dad Thinking of the Mission Inn reminds me of my Mom-in-Law. I never thought I’d think of anyone as any other kind of Mom except my Mom. I’ve learned differently.

I miss them. The nearer the holiday gets, the more I miss them. Their contributions to my life.

I almost lost it today in the soldering class I took for making jewelry. Not because of any one thing. Because of everything. Because of Dad. Because of Mom-in-Law. Because of what’s going on with my Mom. Because of the way these losses affect both me and Wonderful Spouse. Because of the time I’m spending driving back and forth. Because of the almost 10 months this has been going on.

I’m tired. My patience is over. If I was a better person, it wouldn’t be. But I’m not and it is.

The things that hit me the hardest continue to surprise me. I think I’m doing well. Then I think of my most recent favorite Christmas song “White Wine in the Sun.” My feelings about Christmas are complex, and the song expresses most of them, in their basic form. Religion isn’t important to me. Presents aren’t important to me. The part of Christmas that’s important to me is being with family.

And I have less family this year. A lot less.

I so miss them.

It’s all too much

It doesn’t look like we’ll ever know what actually happened to mom-in-law. I’m going to wonder about it forever. Whatever it was, it caused her to hemorrhage. It didn’t appear that she even tried to call anyone. It’s going to gnaw on me for the rest of my life that she died alone.

The Spouse cleaned it up himself. I wouldn’t have been able to do that.

On Sunday I got a text from Youngest Sister telling me she was in the emergency room with my mom. She’d had some bleeding issues and finally called her doctor who sent her to the ER.

That’s the point where I started to feel like my head was going to explode. Dad’s accident, long hospitalization and death, my mother’s continuing health issues, my sister’s surgery and now my mother-in-law. It just felt like too much. It still does.

And, oh boy, Mom’s having a yard sale this weekend. She’s had stuff at an antique mall for years and has decided to downsize her spot so she’s selling everything that didn’t move at the antique store.

I would just like a few days to myself. A little time to process. I need quiet time and there just hasn’t been any, pretty much since Dad went into the hospital in April. I’d really like a weekend where I don’t have to go to the hospital or a party or a funeral or anything at all.

If this time period hadn’t been so emotionally draining I don’t think I would feel this way. But this it’s just gone on for so long.

I’ve also been afraid that something like what happened with my mother-in-law might happen to my mom. It is totally within the realm of possibility. She has congestive heart failure. Her heart function has been severely affected. There’s a reason why I call her daily and go over there twice a week.

We’re pretty sure that mother-in-law died the evening we last spoke to her. That means she was dead for at least a couple of days before the Spouse found her. I’m going to feel guilty about that forever, even though logically I know there’s probably nothing we could have done. It just pains me that she was alone.

I also ran into the doctor that treated Dad while I was visiting Mom. I can’t tell you how much I did not want to see that man. No fault of his own; I know he did the best he could, but I so did not need to go back to that time emotionally.

The last six months have been a wild ride and while I’m not ready to leave the park, I’d really like to get off of the rollercoaster for a while.

Sadness

I’ve never really understood sadness. I’ve never really felt sad.

I’ve had reasons to be sad more than once in my life. I got diagnosed with lupus, had my husband leave me while I was sick, then had to face the prospect of life forever tied to a dialysis machine. And while I had bad moments, many of them. I don’t know that I’ve ever really felt sad.

But the losses over the last couple of months, they’re heavy. And painful. Like carrying sharp rocks around in your heart. They’re heavy and every time you move the edges cut at you. Sometimes just a dull ache and sometimes razor sharp.

And there is nothing I can do about losing my dad and my mom-in-law. They’re gone. And the loss of them weighs on me.

It’s something I’ve never really experienced before. I’m sad. I don’t think it’s ever going to go away. I’ll learn to live with it. But it will never go away.

There’s another person-shaped hole in my life now. I really liked my mom-in-law. How do people who lose whole families live with this? This loss isn’t crushing. But it so could be.

I want to tell my Mom about Mom-in-law, and yet I don’t. This is exactly what I’m afraid of for her. This would be why I call her every day.

But she really doesn’t need that unloaded onto her. That’s my baggage.

But damn it all, this is why I’ve been freaking out every time Mom doesn’t answer the phone. I know my fears aren’t unreasonable. Uncomfortable as hell, yes. Unresonable no.

I’m sad, and with good reason. I carry sharp stones around my heart. It hurts to carry them, but each of them has a name. A real loss with a real reason to hurt.