the cat's out of the bag

My mother had told me not to tell her "the bad news" until she was feeling better. And I agreed - I did not mention a word of anything even vaguely connected with it. But yesterday when we went to visit, after talking about other things for about a half hour, she started to ask .... "Is there anything wrong with this?", "Is there anything wrong with that?" I answered her .. "No, this is fine." and "That's fine too." Then she started to cry, looked at my dad, and asked, "Did he die on your birthday?" my dad paused, and then said, "No, the day before."

She knew.

I knew there were only a few things that would probably crop up in her mind as options (except, of course, for the fact that my mother is a worrier and can always come up with 15 worse case scenarios at the drop of a hat). And I sort of thought she had an idea, but according to her, she knew the moment we walked through the door on Friday morning - she knew by our faces. Apparently my father and I should never play poker.

So she asked to know what happened, and I told her. I told her that the nurses had gone in to check him at 7am and found him without a pulse. That they're calling it "pulmonary failure", and that the funeral is some time next week (and that he'll have the full honor guard, flag draped coffin, 21 gun salute affair he wanted). I told her who I'd talked to, everything that we'd talked about, and how everyone was doing. She cried the whole time, especially when she looked up at me - I eventually teased her that if she didn't stop crying every time she looked at me I was going take offense and leave, she laughed, and then cried some more. She cried even after she got a shot of Ativan, but it was normal healthy crying, and she managed to continue to breathe just fine.

So, she knows now. And so far, she's taking it a lot better than I could have imagined. I feel a tremendous sense of relief that I told her, and she didn't die (that's always in the back of my mind - don't upset her or it might kill her). It wasn't until after I'd told her, after we sat in her room and told story after story about Bapa, after she cried her eyes out, and after she told me how sorry she was for me, that it sunk in - oh yeah .... I have feelings too. I had been so busy trying to console my uncle while he cried, deliver the news gently to my aunt, and keep my mouth shut around my mother, that I had sort of forgotten to let myself feel anything of my own.

So last night, after getting home from visiting with my mom, I checked in with myself (while making dinner), and found that .... I'm not happy, of course, but I'm not really all that sad either. I miss him - but I've been missing him for awhile now. Mostly, at the moment anyway, I'm sort of glad for him. He had a really rough and torturous few years, and I'm happy he's free from that now. Maybe I'll totally fall apart in the next 5 minutes, but I don't think so. I think it's good that he isn't suffering anymore.


grrlie said...

I read your post about your Bapa, and wanted to send condolences your way.

It sounds like your grandfather was a good man, who brought a lot of joy into your life, and I hope that those memories will always warm your heart. :)

LuluBunny said...

thanks grrlie :)

he was a great guy - he could somehow make a trip to the post office or the gas station fun.

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