It’s high time to get back to life again, to real life, not the end of life and dying that I’ve been immersed in for the last two plus months (see previous post Sunrise/Sunset). My dear Mom will be laid to rest and we, her kin, will go forward into our own lives without her, as has been since the beginning of time.
Do you get how forcefully I’m telling MYSELF this by telling you? Because I don’t seem to be letting go very gracefully, but rather holding tightly to a sense of responsibility for letting her die at all. On my watch. I know, delusions of grandeur, right?
But I will endeavor to let go, first of the anger, I pray, that’s running well below the surface (the second stage of grief now that I’m mostly out of denial, the first). I think that’s predominantly about how my mother was treated in the end.
And I’ll continue the effort with Congressman DeFazio’s office (he represents Oregon’s 4th District where Mom lived) a little obsessively I have to admit. But I feel I must do everything in my power to rectify this wrong the elderly are being subjected to (see previous post Sunrise/Sunset). And I think this is meant to be my own personal sort of memorial to Mom.
But what if I can’t do a thing, as almost everybody in a position to know seems to believe? What if all of my protestations and pleas fall on deaf ears and we fail to move the tectonic plates of government bureaucracy? Will I be able to let go then?
PLEASE STOP! Again my brain is pleading to get me back to real life.
So I shake myself briskly as a dog sheds water and tell myself to get back to what needs to be done: to the bills that have piled up through the last month and the laundry that’s been calling my name for too long, my taxes and back to exercising. And the car needs its oil changed, the tires rotated and, oh dear, I’m just home from the mechanic where I learned it needs new front brake pads and rotors too. And what IS that terrible grinding sound he seems unable to find?
It really is endless, isn’t it? And if we let things slide for a month or two it’s almost impossible to dig back up to the surface. Well, that’s why we all struggle to make time for living, isn’t it? But I’ll save that for another post.
For today I’m recognizing that I have, indeed, let everything rather slide since Mom took her fall and especially since I went up to Oregon to be with her during her last days. I see this clearly now and am working my way out (admittedly facing the more palatable tasks first). Though I’m certainly not “back” yet, back to eating carefully and consciously, to exercising, to letting go.
Back again to life.
Nevertheless, I feel rather deep in my bones that I need a transition before I dive headlong back into the daily tasks of living, into life’s nagging responsibilities. I want to step aside, for a bit, from all the frustration of Mom’s insurance situation, from the legal snarls and snags and tangled loopholes; from the purposeful deceit of others and our institutions. I need to remove myself from everything connected to my life for awhile, from everything that I know.
Away from Mom’s death.
I simply have to get away, away to a place of retreat. I don’t see that as resistance or denial. I honestly think I just need a rest. I do want to re-enter life again, but in a different way. In a new way.
It’s coming spring here in the mountains. Fruit trees are blooming, the bluebirds are looking to nest, larks are back in the field and I’m packing a bag and some books and heading down to Taos to stay in Mabel Dodge Luhan’s old house. Really. I am. I can’t believe it myself, but it’s true.
It just seemed I wasn’t ever going to get to reading her books let alone write about them (see previous post Day Trip) and, as I’ve just noted, I feel a serious need to retreat, so I just decided to pack up and go. What better place than Taos, than in Mabel’s own home, to read about the young days of New Mexico’s avant-garde movement?
And perhaps to renew a spirit.
So tomorrow I’m off and I wanted you all to know so you can be thinking of me there. And I will certainly be thinking of you.
Love to you all,