Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Real Horror Story

Something terrible happened to me last night. I haven't been getting much sleep lately, so I turned in early. I took an Ambien and lay down with a guided relaxation mp3 playing in my ears. I have never been able to meditate, my mind's just too chaotic, but guided relaxation recordings do help. So I'm laying in bed, and the soothing female voice is telling me to focus on my breathing. This is nothing new, and I've gone to sleep many times to that particular track so I didn't expect anything unusual. As she used the term 'the breath of life' I was suddenly, horribly back in the hospital room waiting for my mother to die. Her labored breathing, like a fish carelessly thrown on the pier gasping to survive, echoing in my mind. And nothing I could do would make it go away. I had to face that horrible afternoon again. I had to face my abhorrent, yet natural desire for it to end quickly. My selfish desire to get the fuck out of there. And then that terrible silence.

I did notice something odd, though. My mind was beginning to cover over what she really looked like that day with a nicer image of her sleeping. No missing hair, no slack features. I can't let that happen. I can't let false images of a beatific scene of peaceful passing superimpose itself over the terrible reality of that day. I won't.

I can't.

I feel so alone right now, even though I'm surrounded by friends and family. It seems sometimes that the only emotion that I truly feel anymore is rage, and all others are just learned responses, a mime's performance. It doesn't seem fair that when we get a physical wound we can easily avoid activities that will aggravate the injury, but mental damage hides in the shadows and waits for the oddest things to tear at the stitches. It is a selfish grief, and selfishly I pour it out here in the hope of some sort of catharsis, and perhaps it will make me feel better, but when that mental scab tore away I felt like I'd be punched in the stomach. How can you hide from your own thoughts?

I really hope that this makes sense, because I can't bear to reread it for spelling and grammar. And I also hope, dear friends, that you didn't get this far. Sorry to be a downer, but I needed to get these things out into the light.


Monkey said...

I am so sorry to hear you are suffering. My thoughts are with you. Sending love your way.

blah said...

Hey. Thx for this post. I am actually working on something about my mother and your words have reminded me to get the fuck out of my own fear and finish the fucking piece already. I cannot seem to step out of some stupid fear of writing on a blog and having "everyone see". I know, it's ridiculous, self-indulgent fear and insecurity, but it has stopped me. Still working on the blog thing, and I don't know if any of this has made sense to you, but I suspect it will.

Thanks again for your words.

Stinkypaw said...

You're still mourning, it's normal. Maybe your brain is telling you it's time to be in peace, yourself, and remembering your mother with a nicer image won't/doesn't take away any of the terribleness that was her passing. Must we re-experience the pain of hitting our thumb with a hammer to remember just how painful it was? I don't think so. We know it hurt and that should be enough. It's the same with your mom's passing. It was an horrible day, you won't forget it, but remembering her in a better light won't dismiss her death in any way, remember that.

I'm sorry you're feeling so sad, know that you're not alone and what you're feeling is part of the process. *hugs*

rosebuckle said...

More hugs to you Marius. Stinkypaw is right. It may be time to let go of the moment of death. Don't let a whole life be brought down to a moment of death. It's her life that was important & your love for her.
You are not alone

cohnee said...

Hi Marius,

Your description of your mother's condition at the time if her passing is exactly the same as my Grandad's when he passed away this April. It isn't the way I would of chosen for him to pass, and it was hard for me and my family for our last image of him to him in that state.

My initial reaction was just to try and move pass his death, to buckle down and get on with life. But I think all that has done has repressed my feelings and made me a little numb to life.

In the end it's that old chestnut that time will heal all wounds. I'm not exactly sure about that, but eventually I think it will heal enough. The best way to help it (in my opinion) is to remember everything about that person (the beginning, the good and the bad, and the end) and learn to accept it all.

That is a long road, and life doesn't really give the time to walk it, but as a wise man once said "He knows not where he is going, For the ocean will decide, It's not the destination, it's the glory of the ride."

Take it easy, Tom

cinnamon girl said...

Hey Marius, you made total sense for me with this post. A friend of mine died a decade ago and her sister talked with me many times afterward about hearing that laboured breathing, and the 'death rattle' as she called it. it was something she couldn't forget and would remember at the oddest moments.

"mental damage hides in the shadows and waits for the oddest things to tear at the stitches." So true and so beautifully written.

I'm sorry for your loss and your grief, and I'm glad you let it out on here.


celebhith said...

I'm so very sorry you're in pain, Marius but, perhaps, this was something you really needed to come to grips with in order to let it go. Peace will come, trust me. And you will always miss her, but the pain will ebb also. Just remember how very much you are loved and cared for.