Spinning World

My father-in-law died two days ago and it feels like an eternity. I’ve not even been the one involved in the minutiae the way my poor husband has. He’s the straight man to his sister and stepmother’s excesses. I’m not kidding when I say he had to put a damper on a parade through town.

Amid all this controlled chaos, I’m finding myself selfishly freaking out about what my father-in-law’s death will mean to my family. My husband has been working for his dad for the past 8 years as has several other close family members. I’m worries because my father-in-law first got cancer at 48, only four years older than my husband is now. This same cancer killed my father-in-law’s dad, my husband’s grandfather. I have a son. I try not to jump the gun and get anxious about things I have no control over, but this one keeps popping into my head.

I wonder about thanksgiving, which was the holiday we always spent with my FIL and his wife in Florida. I had been thinking that now that my son was college bound, my husband and I might be going to Florida for work reasons more often than in the past.

I feel guilty for being self-absorbed as my sister-in-law and my step-mom-in-law mourn. I want to stick my head in the sand when I think about the slew of memorial services I will have to attend, possibly in two other states as well. I hate funeral shit and want my family to just get me dumped somewhere so they can get on with life. I recognize that all these services and ceremony can help many people grieve, but I loathe them. I’m a coward. I just want to lick my wounds in private and not have to hear a million condolences.

I’m not sure why I wanted to purge my horrible (not so) secret feelings. Maybe so they don’t leak out inappropriately around my in-laws.

For now, I have to go buy a dress. I never have liked black so my wardrobe is mostly cheerful colors.

No wonder all I want to do is hide under my covers or go for a long, punishing run.


7 thoughts on “Spinning World

  1. Oh, you know – crap. I do the same thing. I’m pragmatic and logical. I mean, a few weeks ago I came out to the living room and my husband was sort of slumped on the couch and for a few agonizing damned seconds (eternity) I thought he was dead and all I could think was a sort of ‘well damn, this is going to ruin my night’. Like, I was already thinking about ambulances and telling his kids and jeebus. I mean, the reality is I was terrified but that practical side of my brain is so FRONTAL. (then he woke up and I YELLED at him and he was all ‘I was asleep…?’ and so, yeah.)

    And grieving… it’s so naked and personal and I don’t want anybody looking at me while I do it. It feels like I’m not doing it right or something. I don’t wear my grief on the outside. At something like a funeral or memorial I always want to be doing dishes or something, being helpful and busy. I can’t just sit with the sad people. Because, like I said, I feel like I do it wrong. Anywhoozle, I’m very sorry for your loss, for your husband’s loss. I hope you get through it in one piece. Go for that run. (ha I typed ‘go for that RUM’ which, you know…)

  2. jsrelease@gmail.com says:

    PV, I think it’s completely normal to think about how this effects you. How can you not think about it? The cancer, the business…his death has brought all of this to the forefront. These things are HARD and you are coping the best way you can. Your brain has to bounce around to other things in order to distract you from the horribleness that is at hand. There is no right way to grieve.

    For what it’s worth, your husband and your son are not your FIL or his father, so there futures are likely to not end the same way. I know it’s hard not to think about and draw associations, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will turn out that way.

    I’m so sorry you are struggling and having to face this. I’m glad that you feel you can share and pour your feelings out. You’ve got lots of friends out here giving you virtual hugs and are ready and willing to listen to whatever you need to say.

    Thinking about you and wishing you peace. XO

  3. You have a lot piled on your plate all of a sudden and they are genuine concerns. It’s good to put it all out there. Somethings you’ll recognize are lower priority than others. No matter what, all you can do is face one moment at a time. Praying for strength and courage and comfort for you and your family.

  4. Death affects those of us who remain behind in so many different ways. I don’t know of anyone who likes funerals, but if your FIL wanted a funeral then that is something to honor. I would rather have a life celebration and having been to a couple of those, I thought that they were so happy–lots of photos of the person, his boat, his dogs, his hats, his favorite books–all there and held like a party at his house. What a way to be remembered.

  5. tundrawoman says:

    The death of a parent serves to remind us the buffer between us and our own mortality is now more tenuous: It’s now coming down to our own generation. In many ways both practically and internally major shifts and changes take place. You said you don’t want a million condolences so I won’t do so formally (but I can think them, right?!)
    PV, the words “Coward” and “Self-Absorbed” are the antithesis of you and your life as you’ve shared in your Blog. Courage and Concern for others? How those qualities shine through your huge heart in a tiny “package!”
    (FWIW, I agree with Syd: Celebrate life. Maybe that’s why I love good, old fashioned Irish Wakes and Services.)

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