The Things That Go Unwritten

Why is it that there’re so many things nobody writes or talks about? Especially in regards to life changing events. After I had The Boy I remember making a long list about all the things that none of the books or my friends told me about pregnancy, child birth and motherhood. The same thing with marriage. And now, I’m finding it holds true with watching someone you love die as well.

There’s so much written about the grieving process. About the fear and the sadness and the guilt and the other well documented emotions that are typically found camped out around death. There’s less written about the process of watching someone die. But it’s still there. The process of watching the body shut down and everything that goes with that. There’s even a little bit written about how hard it is to watch someone you love diminish, decline, disintegrate, deteriorate and every other “d” word having to do with the state that occurs when one’s body betrays them and starts shutting down from the inside out.

But so far, I’ve not found much written about the horrors of the mind that come along through all of these processes. And there is so much bandying about in my mind that I just cannot hold onto anymore.

I cannot hold onto the images that float, unbidden, into my mind of my dad slowly mummifying from the inside out because his organs are giving up. The horrifically detailed pictures I have of his liver and lungs and heart slowly petrifying and then turning to dust as he wonders how to control the pain.

I cannot hold onto the guilt of wondering when my part in all of this will be done. When do I get to stop taking care of my parents?

I cannot hold onto the idea that this is all my job. That I have to be everything to everyone every time. Can I put down something down without that person or activity thinking I no longer care?

These are the things that make me feel alone. But like my Dad’s not the first dad to die of cancer, I have to know that I’m not.


Lisa@VisionaryMom.com said...

you are so right. I remember my best friend died of cancer when i was 11. It was a strange process to watch here and here i was just a little girl. The thoughts I had and still remember. My mom lost her best friend, who she should have married a couple of years ago. She is not the same after that. The unexperienced and unexpressed love, the sadness, the hurt, the anger. I never even knew what to say to her and still don't. That process of being with him, right there at his side. No one should have to go through that, but we all do at some point in our lives. Hugs to you, you are brave and strong and an amazing daughter. Your papa is lucky to have you here during his passing.

mosaica said...

I guess mostly I just don't understand why we can't talk about these things. Because by not talking/writing about them, we're in some way intentionally keeping ourselves alone through some of the hardest processes in life and death. And I don't know about anybody else, but I'd rather not feel so alone. You know?