i’m ok

October 30, 2010

I don’t know how to talk about my dad without it sounding terribly sad, even though I’m not feeling terribly sad anymore. I still cry sometimes, like last week when I watched these movies where one of the main characters was dealing the death of a parent, but in general, I don’t feel weighed down or numbed out by grief any more. Yay. It’s like writing those lists – I didn’t mean for it to be read as sad as it came off. Sometimes I think I normalized a lot of stuff that was kind of tragic about my dad and tragic about being my dad’s kid. But that’s what kids do to cope and you don’t just turn off those coping skills when you get to be an adult, even when you’ve been an adult for a while. I want to post these couple poems I wrote about Dad’s death, in part because I never thought I’d be able to write about it without getting sentimental and over wrought. But I did and I’d love to have read and for anyone who reads them to know I’m ok. American culture is funny about grief. We’re expected to keep it to ourselves. We’ve not developed a great skillset to talk about it. Or to talk about anything that profoundly changes your life, at least not if it’s about profound loss.

I’m not sure that it’s related, but thinking about that made me think of my grandmother, who is 99 and in a nursing home. The few times I’ve seen her there she either seems checked out or so sad. I saw her when I was home in October and she cried most of the time we were there. Not sobbed, but visibly teared up. We grow old and things go backwards kind of – our bodies don’t do the things we want them to do, our minds don’t always work right, and we usually need some extra help and then we die. And that whole process is another huge part of life we try and push away. We get born and most of the time it’s a celebration for the first couple years, but we get ready to leave the world and who even comes around to see us?!

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