Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Nature of Bubbles

For those of you who don’t know, our family has lost two dear cousins and my dad this year. My dad passed away only two weeks ago. People ask how we’re doing and it’s a difficult question to ask and a difficult question to answer. We have a large extended family who are all sharing the same emotions right now which helps. We also all have wonderful networks of friends and co-workers who are always nearby for love and support.

The exhaustion and worry our whole family experienced over the past year with Ray, Alan and my dad’s illnesses, are now replaced not only by sadness for those who are no longer with us, but also with a new closeness to our loved ones. We were already a tight knit clan…cousins, aunts, uncles, lifelong friends, new friends...yet somehow we're even closer, now.

The sadness, however, frequently gives way to outrageous bouts of laughter and highly inappropriate remarks which I will share with you one day in the distant future. Very distant. There is no need for you to know the true depths of our depravity. You just aren’t ready for that. Trust me.

As we move forward, feel free to keep asking about us and about our mom and about our aunt and about our cousins. Don’t worry that a particular question will be inappropriate or might make us cry, because here’s the thing: there is no predicting what topic might make a person cry.

Yesterday, I spoke to someone about the flowers at my dad’s funeral for ten minutes without a hint of sadness or sentimentality. Thirty minutes later, I had to leave the room because someone mentioned Easter.

I explained to a friend that although we’re doing well, our emotions are always bubbling very near the surface and that, like bubbles, they suddenly appear and then *poof* they’re gone. You needn’t worry or feel uncomfortable around our occasional distant stares or teary eyes. It’s just the nature of bubbles.


Lee Ann said...

Laurie, I know exactly what you mean. Last year in Sept I had 5 deaths in a three week period, one business associate, two favorite aunts, my mom and my best friend from high school. We've just passed the one year mark. Holidays are the worst because its the first "without" them. It's been a tough year and they say time heals..well how much time? One year has past and I can say it's not any easier knowing the holidays are facing us again and we still will be "without" them. So each person I guess heals at different time frames. I can be in conversation about something and be just fine and just like that bust out in tears. So I don't know how long that will go on. But it is comforting when we're told people are still praying for us. So, I just want you to know that you and your family will be in my prayers. The holidays will be very different for you this year. You will always have such fun and wonderful memories in your heart. Your Dad left such a great legacy. I remember your mom from the TCU days. She worked with my Aunt Eileen. Take care girl..I'll be praying! Lee Ann

jen said...

Last year, after we lost my great grandmother and great great uncle to that drunk driving accident, my family felt much the same way. (It was September. I hate September now...)

At my great grandmother's visitation, my cousins were asking me questions about when I would have a baby. I said soon, we were trying, but Brian wanted to wait a while. My cousins said, "You should DRUG him and just, you know, DO IT TO him." I thought about it for a second and said, "Did you, at our grandmother's funeral, just tell me to rape my husband?" We burst out into very inappropriate laughter. That's one of my favorite stories, although I hate thinking about it because it was, indeed, at her funeral. I love those girls, and we're so much closer after the loss we experienced last year.

Anonymous said...

Baby sis:
Its been a wierd day for me too. At work 2 of us have lost our Dad's, on lady lost her mother and another lost her husband.The one that lost her husband was always in the ICU waiting room at the same time as us. Needless to say I kind of lost it a couple of times today while we were talking. One of the girls in my office let me know that she lost her dad 12 years ago and sometime for now reason it feels like it happened yesterday. She said, "I'm going to tell you what my brother told me. Never make excuses for crying for dad no matter how long its been".

Gnightgirl said...

Thank you for saving so much of my time and writing this post for me. I can stoically shake my head and wax on about how sis had taken care of every single detail of her own funeral but the sight of a coconut cream pie--her favorite--in the grocery store sent me fleeing in tears.

I think of you every day.

katie said...

I couldnt agree more :)

Zina said...

I really didn't mean to ramble....
WOW-what a great post. You are becoming one of my favorite writers!
You know, I thought the closeness thing was just me and being so far away from everyone. Throughout all of this mom kept saying I don't want to bother your mom or aunt Gladys. That would bug me, we're family we're not bugging each other. I just thought if they don't want to talk they won't answer the phone. But you know me I'm going to be involved whether you like it or not.
Our family has been very blessed. This is the first two deaths (or three--I didn't know Ray that well)of the "inner core" of our family. We knew they were sick and we knew they were going to die. It didn't "shock" us suddenly. If there is such a thing as passing away in a good way I think they both did well.
I always talk about you cousins of mine like brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles like moms and dads. Sometimes I feel like the terms aunt, uncle and cousin do not express the depth of what all of you do mean to me. I have been around very few people who have the same kind of bond as we do with all of the members of our families. Even the children of the cousins and children of those children...
I do not look forward to the inevitable loss of another relative but I go into that situation knowing I will be surround be great love from those living and passed. (As we all know Alan and Uncle Red participated on the days of their services.) Because I know that I love my family and they love me. We are really lucky in light of this all...we all hugged and laughed and cried and mainly we said the words, "I love you!" to each other over those days. We are a very smart group. We know how lucky we are.
I'll keep on saying it...even when I'm gone: I love you Laurie! (And the other family and friends that read this.)


Jill said...

Sorry to hear of all of this. There is a good, funny book that I read that you might like. Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish. I've told my kids that when I die I want something like that instead of a traditional funeral.

Rebecca Hickman said...

Very well put. It is so difficult to explain the weird moods of grief. You really are a fantastic writer.

Laurie said...

You guys are amazing. Love, love, love you.