When my oldest brother died, I handled it. I emailed my boss: “My brother died. I knew it was inevitable. I’m fine. I’ll be in tomorrow.” When the shock wore off, I wasn’t exactly fine. I took a few days off and then went back to work. When my dad died six months later, I had spent six nights with him in hospice. I felt frightened on night two, so a childhood friend stayed with me that night. She brought pizza and magazines and two Clark Peppermint patties. I didn’t like the irreverence. I spent the next four nights alone with him. He died at 6:00 a.m. sharp on that last morning.
I ate a Ghirardelli dark choclate peppermint-filled square tonight that reminded me of that second night in hospice. The night I was grateful when my friend stayed, and glad when she left.
I mourned my father’s passing more deeply than my oldest brother’s. I’ve not yet let myself feel the depth of my grief for my oldest brother. I sneak tiny sips of it when no one’s looking. Not even me.
But my 52 year-old brother who died of acute myelogenous leukemia the same day he was diagnosed, three months after I’d put together an intervention in hopes of not losing him, too. An intervention that led him to treatment, hoping for life, after so much death. Five months after my father died, my remaining brother died. That death I’m feeling. That death has left me shattered. The pieces are too numerous, too tiny. I will never be the same. So why bother trying to put them back together? I’ll be this new me. Whoever she is.
But then again, I’m no different than anyone else. Death is happening all around us. We all have our patterns. Our timing. My family’s timing thus far happens to be April, October, March. Or three in eleven months. Or death, six months, death, five months, death. A death sandwich.
Some days I complete the tasks of my days as if everything is still the same. Some days I’m able to pretend it matters. Or ignore that it doesn’t.
But none of this seems to matter any more.
People piss me off. I have no patience. No tolerance. I don’t care. And I don’t care that I don’t care.
I know I need to work for a living, but I am perfectly content to do this from my bed. Why do I need to be in the office? Around the stupid people who think stupid things matter? Why must I exert my energy, the precious few resources that I have, interacting with all those people who have no fucking idea that I just don’t care about anything that matters to them?
I have all these questions. And I feel so inane having them. I’m not the first person to have been faced with muliple deaths in a short period. I’m not the first to then ponder weighty subjects and find no answers. The reason we’re here. How existence came to be. Whether it matters. If there’s another dimension. If we cease to exist physically, mentally, and energetically when our hearts stop beating.
We all ask the same questions and there are no fucking answers.
We’re born. We work. If we’re lucky, we love. And then we die. We get maternity leave for births. For deaths, we get a week if we’re lucky, and then we go back to work and are expected to hold it together as if nothing ever happened. When all we want to do is go home and work on our beds, pile them up with papers and cats, and just stay there. Occasionally eat an almond butter and jelly sandwich in our beds and leave the white plate smeared with bilberry jam on the floor. Next to the coffee carafe.
I want to stay in my bed and pile the floor with white plates smeared with bilberry jam.