I went to bed an hour and a half ago on the bed. Nearly impossible to get comfortable and painful trying to sit up properly in order to get back off the bed. I learned last time that I can’t sit up like doing a sit-up, but have to roll to my side first and then push up off my elbow, but even that is mild torture. And then there’s the issue of trying to find a position for sleeping that doesn’t hurt.
I learned so much last time about surviving and getting on with life during the recovery process. Sleeping is one of those things that I’d nearly forgotten, but it’s coming back to me so that I can’t legitimately complain about it like it is some new quirk. This is just what happens after abdominal surgery. Sure, it still sucks royally, but I survived it before and I will survive it again. I just ‘forgot’ this quirk from last time.
So, now that I am up and awake, now what?
I have been wondering about my strange relationship with the idea of death and dying, I don’t believe in any sort of afterlife, for humans or other animals. My mind was already distracted with my impending surgery when I discovered Two-ie had died in the back yard. It was a sad thing, but I didn’t cry or feel a great sense of loss. I didn’t cry when either of my parents died (Dad in 1987 and Mother in 1993), either, but I assume it was because they’d both pretty much abandoned me almost 20 years earlier, emotionally if not physically. Most of the deaths I can recall in my life there was more a sense of resignation to abandonment, or having been abandoned, rather than mourning for an emotional loss. I do miss having Two-ie show up at mealtime and I do still fill the food bowl as if they will both be eating. I would probably mourn for my kids if any of them died before me, but I honestly don’t know how I would feel, since (at least theoretically) a parent isn’t supposed to lose a child.
I cried a whole lot before, during, and after my divorce. That actually did hurt. And I cried when Lewis and I broke up. So I know there are things that I can mourn for, just not someone or something dying. I didn’t learn about “how to mourn” when I was little. I was in 5th grade when Grandpa Whiting died (Feb 65), but he hadn’t been much involved in my life. Mother just called us into her room that morning, told us Grandpa Whiting had died, and that Dad would be going up to Santa Cruz for the funeral. I remember feeling a sadness, and cried a little bit at the abstract idea of a person who had been living was suddenly not living. But we had to go to school that day and I was distracted a little bit during the day, thinking about his death and what it means to be dead. But it wasn’t a loss of relationship because we didn’t really have a relationship with Dad’s family. And there were no other deaths in the family while I was growing up.
My half-brother died when I was 18 and in the Air Force. He’d grown up mostly with his mother and she had moved out before Chris was born — she’d seen how Dad treated Scott and me and didn’t want her child raised that way. Plus, she was lesbian and had loads of emotional support for raising Chris and her other child. But when he died it wasn’t an emotional loss for me since there wasn’t a strong relationship there, either.
I guess everyone deals with death and dying their own ways. For me it’s just mostly a sense of abandonment or absence. I suppose a psychologist would have a field day figuring how why I don’t express emotional loss the way a lot of people do. I don’t fall apart when someone dies. Or at least, I haven’t in the past.
I’ve always felt there are holes in my sense of being, or like chunks of my personality that were “missing”, because I don’t emote the way others do. I understand it by recognizing that my early growing-up years were not what you’d call ‘normal’ or ‘traditional.’ At this point in my life, I’m not interested in “fixing” those areas of my life, as if there is something “wrong” with me. How I am, and how I process emotions, is how I have learned to survive, mostly by simply not feeling much. It is what it is.
But enough about that for now. I think I’ll put on some music and maybe try to sleep for a while sitting up on the couch.