Deaths in the family: My aunt Janice passed away last week, which is why I haven’t been posting, nor writing, much. The night it happened I got the call at 10:41 pm. When you get a call at that time of night, you know something is wrong. Add in I saw my cousin post on Facebook about her mother being in the ER earlier and I knew when my phone went off exactly what I was going to hear.
Still, when my mom said my aunt had died, I sat up quickly (and painfully) and said “What?” I guess I hoped against hope that nothing was wrong. She explained what happened and abruptly got off the phone.
Janice had major surgery a couple of weeks before. Everything was looking good until Sunday night of last week. She got a blood clot in her lungs and there was nothing that could be done.
I was so upset and so shocked I was basically numb. I think I was staring at the ceiling after trying to convince my husband he needed to go to sleep since he worked the next morning when I got a text maybe ten minutes after the call. It was my mom asking me to call my two brothers to let them know.
It was the first time in my life I had to do something like that. Normally my mom did it but this time she needed me. So I made the calls and eventually I fell asleep.
The next morning I called mom and she said her, my grandmother, and my two cousins were going to the funeral home. I invited myself along and met them there. This was also a first for me. I wasn’t involved in the planning, besides speaking up for my cousins when they answered in whispers and I was the only one who heard them. Moral support was all I could offer. My mom had to deal with several other funeral arrangements so she stepped in when needed and eventually it all got done.
Then I picked up lunch for everyone and went to my grandma’s house. Everyone was mostly calm, the shocked calm that can’t last. It was hard but for the next couple of days, I did whatever I could to help. Anything from vacuuming to helping my husband (he’s the muscle, I’m the director) clean out my aunt’s garage to make it easier on her daughters when they have to go through it all.
Sometimes I simply sat on the couch and chatted with my grandma and the other women in my family. We told funny stories about Janice and comforted each other by being together. Seeing everyone’s pain was so hard.
I cried at the gym the day after I found out then at both the graveside and the memorial service, many times but otherwise stayed in my numb calm state. I suppose I was in ‘get it done’ mode.
Friday was hard because I stayed home. I didn’t cry because my husband was also home and I didn’t want to upset him. You see, last Sunday was only the beginning of the bad news for my family. The next day my husband got a call from his dad letting him know his grandmother had passed away. She was such a great lady and we’ll miss her a lot. I feel so useless because I can’t do a thing to help since I’m so far away. I couldn’t even do much to comfort my very stoic husband because I was such a mess waiting to happen.
Her funeral will be in New Jersey and we can’t make it. I wish we could. A family needs to be together in times like this. I’m hoping my brother-in-law can set up Skype for it.
My son also got bad news. A really close friend of his died of cancer. This kid was twenty-two years old! What a sad week.
I’m not sure I’ve processed it all yet. Grief on grief is terrible. My house has been filled with a somber gloom all week. Not to mention one of the kids has the flu and strep so we’re all avoiding each other.
Today, everything is hitting me. Writing this is hard but helping me.
Writing: As for writing, due to the above events, it’s been on the back-burner. Yesterday was the first day I had any creativity come out of me.
My writing group does a weekly picture prompt. When it was posted in our FB group I thought it was amazing but didn’t think for a moment I’d be able to write anything. I was wrong. I started getting ideas within minutes. It was problematic because I had two paths I could take with one character. I’m not sure which to pick so I’m writing both, hopefully today. I’ll decide which I like better, or see if one takes over the other. Maybe I’ll combine them.
Unfortunately, it’s as likely I won’t be able to write a complete story. It doesn’t matter, though. Creativity happened. I’ll ease back into writing but it would be nice if I could lose myself in it.
I have a couple of pieces of flash fiction I need to polish a bit before I post here. Expect those soon, tomorrow or Thursday.
Medical: I’m in a lot of pain but it’s from all my activity last week and I think I’ll be okay soon. I need to schedule an appointment with my neurosurgeon and get a CT scan done next month. Fingers crossed it looks good. I’m worried about the rod and screws in my back. I’ve been in pain for quite a while. During the last visit, there was concern about me healing so slow. The CT scan is to make sure nothing loosened because of it.
After what happened to my aunt, and finding out my grandfather also died the same way after surgery, you can imagine how much I fear another surgery.
Everything else: There isn’t much else. We’re all trying to move forward. I’ll try to post another update late in the week. Hopefully, I’ll not have anything else bad to talk about.