Thursday, April 16, 2009

March 31st - Day it happened

It was Tuesday after 10pm and I just came home from work. It was a pretty good day, of course it was still winter. Technically getting into spring, but winter still had a few things to say. I took off my wintercoat, hung it up, then checked my messages on my phone. My mother left a message for me, asking me if I wanted to come over for dinner either Wednesday or Thursday. Thursday I was working a bloody day shift and knew I'd be tired probably, or just wanting to stay home. Wednesday, I had planned on going to a poetry reading. The poetry reading, I should say. Happens every fall and spring. Plus April 1st would be opening night. I didn't have a poem ready, but I knew I'd be doing one the next day. Something in her voice.

Now, I already knew my uncle had cancer. I think I found out in February, it was pretty recent, that's for sure. But he was doing fine, then March 27th my dad had send me a text message telling me my uncle was in palliative care. I didn't know what the fuck that was. I figured that just meant he's back in the hospital getting some kind of care for cancer people. I debated going to the hospital, but I thought I wouldn't. I have a thing against his wife, a 10 year old grudge I suppose. Then Monday March 30th, I happen to bump into my mother on the way to work and she told me she went to visit my uncle, and for some reason I asked which hospital. So she told me, told me what the room number was. I resolved to see him on April 1st. Yes, poetry day. It was my day off, and the least I could do was pop in for like a minute, then head out. I never really had anything against the guy, he was a really nice person. I'd just be in and out, didn't have to talk to anybody.

So flashforward back to the phone message my mom leaves. She was wondering if I wanted to come over for dinner. My first thought was no because it's opening night! Something in her voice though, and it was then and there, I made a choice. A choice which sort of stunned me. I mean I could've had dinner on Thursday and still made the poetry reading. A part of knew though, I just needed to be with family. So I called her and said I could come over.

Next thing I do is check my cell. There's a message on it. It's voice mail. It's from my dad. It says my uncle died at 5:45pm. I thought "well, I don't have to go through the stress of having to see him" but I was also...stunned, shocked. He was just in the hospital maybe Friday or Saturday and now the guy's dead? I didn't understand it. I mean I knew he'd die. One, he's 71 years old; and two, he has cancer. I mean he's lived a full life. I mean if he was 30 I might be more surprised.

The next day I go for dinner to my mother's. She heard about my uncle as well. We don't say much about it, but enjoy a nice dinner at home. It's just the two of us and it feels homely. If that's the right word. Feels like I hadn't been there in a long time (which is almost true, last time was Christmas).

Work the next day was hell for me, obviously. I didn't tell anyone. What do you say? I chose not to say anything. There were times years ago when I could say something, but those co-workers are gone. Now I have a completely new batch. It was the bloody day shift. Went through it all right.

Came home. Only person I told really was a good friend of mine, someone I could turn to, someone who's been through this numerous times she could probably get a doctorate in death, or dealing with grief. MJ's dealt with this stuff for years it's crazy.

Facebook. Everybody has facebook. Nearly everybody. So what do I do? I tell my facebook people on Friday. The people on my facebook are people I can turn to. And boy, when I put down my uncle died, they sure did turn to me. Sent condolences and kind words right and left, it was hard to duck as the kind punches kept coming. Almost knocked me out in a gush of loving tears. I'm lucky to have such good friends.

Here's the clincher: One of them happens to know a co-worker. Then my work knows. Saturday they gave me a card. Saturday was the funeral. I didn't go to the funeral. I didn't want to go. Too many people, some I didn't want to associate with, and also it would've been too emotional. Maybe some of those idiots would fault me for not going to the funeral? I couldn't care less. I made my choice. My father had showed me the nice ad in the paper they put. I was wondering if I could probably send flowers. So after we had coffee, I headed to a newspaper stand and bought a newspaper quickly before work. Flipped through to find the ad, found out, and saw they weren't excepting flowers but donations. Fuck that donation stuff. I mean I do like donating, but I was hoping to send flowers to be a presence at the funeral. Sure I wouldn't be able to go, but my flowers could and it would've been a good gesture.

Later that week my eyes hurt. I never knew your eyes could hurt. I mean I heard someone say that their eyes hurt from crying and I thought they were crazy or doing some kind of hyperbole kind of shit, but no, that's seriously true. Your eyes can hurt from crying and they did hurt. I could handle the pain though, but it was cool in a way. I never experienced that before.

Things were fine afterwards. Let's see, we're heading into Easter Weekend. Boss was out of town, we managed all right. I was back in the game. Easter Sunday got to kick back, finally a day to myself free from worry. Boss back on Tuesday.

Then yesterday. Fuck was yesterday hard. I don't know why. Poetry reading. I hadn't attended for two weeks. The first because of my mother's dinner. The second because I worked. So I go there, but I didn't feel like going at first, thought maybe I should just stay home and rest, collect myself more. I was there though, and felt so false. Felt like I was crumbling inside and all these people are giving me warm welcomes but I just wanted to run away and hide in some corner and I didn't know why. One guy I knew, a good friend as well (on facebook too, but I guess he didn't see the post) asked me how I was doing. I was doing great. I was reading a lot, doing some 50 book challenge. We talked about that. I read my poem to the audience. I was glad to get back home though. It was a great night, but I just couldn't feel it, didn't feel it. Almost like watching this great movie at the movie theatre and then some idiot starts talking on his cell phone. That's what it was like. This time, this idiot was telling me "Your uncle's dead, your uncle's dead." I was trying to tell that voice to fuck off.

I don't think I was ready to go out. I mean earlier in the day I had to go grocery shopping and that was primarily to re-stock my espresso.

I can now understand why people don't want to attend a party after a person has died, or a loved one has died I should say. They're just not up to it. At least not yet. That's how I feel. I mean I'm totally welcome to go to the poetry reading next week. They'd welcome me with open arms, but am I ready or brave enough to take my arms from clutching myself and clutch onto the others for dear life. Can I really do that? I feel like if I let go myself I'll fall, and I don't want to fall. I don't want to fall down. Worse, I don't want them to see me crumbling, fumbling, crying like some crazy shit who's just done too much drugs and should be tossed out of the building for being a nuisance. Of course, they wouldn't think that.

And on the other hand, I should go. Get out of the house sort of thing. MJ says that's a good idea. She's nice like that, not pushy. Has those welcoming arms. I could fall into those arms, even though, it's just as hard, but we've known each other for so many years, and heck, I've helped her through rough times, she's helped me. It'd be weird not falling into her arms, though there are times it's hard. Hard to talk to her. Not because it's her, just because I don't know the words, don't know where to start, and the funny thing is, she's felt that way before and my advice to her: Start from the beginning.

So I suppose that's what I'm doing. This blog will contain my grief. I plan to talk about my grief for a year. I'm hoping before that year that things get a lot better for me. Will I delete this blog after a year? I don't know. It's now April 17th 12:38am.

I already have a blog, but I figured I needed to be more in depth with this. It would also be cathartic.

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