I thought I saw you sitting there on the bench inside the airport. I was rushing to get put my shoes back on, my coat, make sure everything was in place after going through the Security checkpoint. I look up and there you were sitting with two little kids on each side of you. I could barely breathe, my eyes filled with tears as you turned towards me laughing except it wasn't you.
Grief is an entirely complex and unique illness.
Did I tell you that 18 months ago I had a stroke? I was very lucky, I had no long lasting effects, as I walked out of the hospital able to move freely and talk. But the stroke did leave a long lasting scar, as it terrified the rubbish out of my immediate family and when I returned home, they began to act as if I was an invalid. They did not want me to drive or resume my independence as it was before my stroke. Yet they went on living their lives without me. I sat recuperating on the couch with various magazines and the television clicker, very lonely and frustrated. I became depressed with a lot of anxiety, which was being treated with various antidepressants along with my blood thinners and medications to treat the stroke.
I fight with whether writing about this is distasteful, but that’s just a storm in my brain, and I have to at least try to weather this storm.
Traveling has always been part of my life, and as I sit on a plane headed back to Virginia, a few thoughts float through my head. Zakaria and I are next to each other while Leena and Aamir are at the back of the plane. I used to insist on being in the middle of Hadi and Zakaria. I now look over at Zakaria watching Star Wars, and it occurs to me that, while I miss all the bizarre conversations my sons had, particularly on family trips, I know Hadi made his presence known while we were in Cancun. Whether it was the beautiful yellow bird that consistently greeted us, or our salesperson having a twin brother, there was no way Hadi wasn’t being thought of at some point. Also, as an aside, our salesperson’s name was Esteban, and I am surprised Zakaria didn’t mention anything about crayons in front of him. ;)
It is not always easy for property and other possessions to be distributed after a person dies. It depends on many factors that people don't realize until they become part of the aftermath of the death of a relative.
It was supposed to rain, but the only water we felt were the tears streaming down our faces.
When I was younger, I never thought I would ever lose my mother or my stepfather. I know that sounds awful. Like most people, I fought with my mother quite a bit. I guess you could say I even rebelled a little. When I turned 18, I joined a traveling carnival. I spent a few months traveling and living the whole drama-fueled life of a carney. I operated a game where you picked a color and a little rat went into a hole and if it was your color, you win. I wanted to be my own person and thought that not living with my mother would give me more freedom. It did to a point, but the carnival life just wasn't my thing. I left there and went to northern Michigan to live with my stepdad. This hurt my mother's feelings very much. The reason I chose this was so she couldn't control my life like I thought she wanted to. I grew up and started a family of my own.
My year started out wonderfully. I seriously couldn't have asked for better. I was in a healthy relationship with my boyfriend, and I had my whole year in front of me. In April I received the best news I could have. I saw the pregnant sign on a test. I was filled with joy and sadness and fear that day. My body couldn't quite comprehend. We had been trying for four months, and finally I got what I desired. I was probably one of the happiest people being pregnant, but it didn't last long for me at all.
Who would have ever thought that the sight of a pink artificial sweetener packet on my kitchen counter would cause me to break down? Literally send me sobbing to my bed, trying to find my next breath and my composure to carry on with my day. But there I was. These paper packets were here at my house, and he wasn’t. He was never going to put them in his morning coffee again.
It is said that losing a parent is a rite of passage, but in truth it is a fundamental heartbreak that may never be resolved. Thoughts of how you treated your parent when you were younger can torment and twist. Questions of ‘Did I tell them how much I loved them?’ plague dark nights of wakefulness. Depending on your age at the time of their passing you may have abandonment issues, unresolved anger or resentment, or even non-contact issues. No matter what the ‘problem’ was, the vast majority of us grieves their passing and wish for more time with them.