Just Breathe

I don’t even know where to start. This week has been unspeakably hard in every conceivable way. First thing Monday morning I got a call from my ex-husband saying that his mother had passed away. I had just spoken to her two days before and seen her the previous week. Even though she hadn’t been my mother in law since 1999, we had remained close. Since her two sons lived out of town and she and her daughter were estranged I was her “go to” person. She and my daughter were especially close and had been since H was a little girl. I knew she, of all my children, was going to be totally devasted by this. But first I had to call HSW’s (my ex mother in law’s) sister and break the news. I have done this countless times at work but it is so different when it’s family and it’s an unexpected death. It’s heart breaking to have to deliver such news. When I called my daughter to tell her she fell apart. I contacted the administration of the treatment center and made arrangements to bring her home. She arrived on Tuesday evening and as soon as she stepped off the bus, she fell sobbing into my arms.

I was really worried that this would be an excuse for a relapse but she did really well. I am so proud of her. I had spent all day out at the farm looking for the will and speaking to the lawyer. HSW had told me for years that I was executor of her will so everyone turned to me. After 4 long hours searching, in a stifling and hot house I found it…in the freezer. I had to laugh. It really should have been the first place that I looked, since she was always hiding things in there. It turned out that she had changed her will and named one of her sons. Which is fine, since it means that I won’t have to deal with it but I wish she would have told us, he didn’t even know. He asked me to go through it with him and I’ll tell you, for a woman who preplanned her funeral to the nth degree the will is a mess. It’s going to take months to sort through everything.

Early tuesday evening H’s aunt and uncle got into town. They had asked to stay with us. I had agreed but told her aunt there was to be no alcohol in the house. (my ex’s whole family are either alcoholics or addicts) H’s aunt is the one who had been estanged from her mother. I was hoping to help support her and that she would find some peace and closure. Even though they didn’t bring any beer in the house, they kept a case in their car and drank out there. I just can’t help but think how sad it is.

H and my other son J (he’s almost 20) were asked to give eulogies. So Wednesday was spent running around getting everyone ready for the funeral and preparing writing them. H asked me to take her to the gym as a way of dealing with some of the emotional overload. H also asked her closest childhood friend E to come with us, as extra support which turned out to be a godsend.

I feel as though I’m just starting to grieve  and mourn now. In trying to support my children, especially H, and their aunt and their dad I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye myself which hurts. My ex behaved surprisingly well. He’s the only one of the siblings who didn’t stir the pot and bring up things that shouldn’t have been brought up at a funeral. He was great with the kids and behaved properly and with decorum. I have my own issues with the man but in this instance he did well.

H and J gave the most stirring and moving eulogies. I was so proud of them both. H was very emotional but that just made it all the more moving and special. At the end of J’s eulogy he asked for a standing ovation for the final act of the great performance that had been his grandmother’s life and the chapel shook with thunderous applause as people lept to their feet and clapped. My middle son S broke down during the service. At 16 this event makes him realize that we are all mortal and going to die someday and he is really having a difficult time coping with the finality of it all.

On Thursday we drove to the cemetary 2 1/2 hours away and buried her. J was a pallbearer and H was able to say her final goodbyes. The kids aunt kicked up such a fuss that I was unable to invite my ex and his brother and wife out to lunch with us. All because she does not like the wife. Not even for anything she personally did, she just doesn’t like her. The whole thing was exhausting.

Thursday night we got a call from H’s bf’s mother. She said her son had taken off and she was worried, she said he was relapsing. My poor daughter. Why now, of all times? H went back to North Bay friday morning after a breakfast out with me and her friend E. She said she was really looking forward to getting back to were it was safe and she could be away from all the drama and could begin to process everything that had happened.  She was still really worried about the bf though. His mom has been calling me and H called at least 4 times yesterday after she got back. I drove downtown to see if I could find him anywhere but so far, no luck.

After everyone had finally left yesterday I was sitting at the computer trying to relax. I’ve only slept about 4 hours a night since monday morning and I am just so tired. That’s the moment that I found out my cousin K had just passed away from a massive heart attack. He was only 42 (he was 5 days older than me). As I tried to process this I finally started to cry. And I’ve been crying on and off ever since. Everything that has happened this week has been just too much. I feel as though I’ve been carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and now, with K’s death, I’ve fallen apart.

I haven’t had the chance to read anyone’s blog all week, but over the next few days I’ll try to catch up.

“Yes I understand that every life must end. As we sit alone I know some day we must go. Oh I’m a lucky man to count on both hands the ones that I love…Some folks just have one, yeah others they got none…Stay with me, let’s just breathe…”  Pearl Jam

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3 Responses to Just Breathe

  1. Barbara says:

    I agree with Pearl Jam and can hear Eddie singing “just breathe”.

    I feel so bad for you….way too much for one week! Its impressive to hear that H and J gave moving eulogies, its not an easy “speech” to make. I bet you are proud of them.

    Try to rest, dear one, and let the tears flow when needed. Everyone seems to be relying on you, but you also need a shoulder to cry on. I hope you have someone there that can provide that shoulder.

  2. MommaBear says:

    Try to get some rest.. I know that easier said then done.. but I find that it helps the brain to process and help you deal with things.. Breath and keep going.. I saddened by this moment.. It’s a hard time when someone (s) passes away.. You can never be prepared..

    God works in mysterious ways only time will help us heal and understand.

    with love and compassion

  3. Lisa C says:

    You are in my thoughts and my prayers. I totally understand losing MiL…I was also my MiL’s go to daughter-in-law. She has been gone about a month and the family is of course struggling and I’m being drug in to much of their struggles (my estranged husband gave me a “drunk call” tonight, telling me how sad he was today (he ended our marriage in January). None of this matters. You need to rest and take care of yourself and give yourself time to grieve and mourn the loss as you feel it. You are in my prayers.

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