Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Beware: Grief Brain

What is grief brain, you ask?  It is a term I made up (I think).  It basically means my brain is missing and I am just waiting for it to return.  My mind is about as mixed up as my life is right now. I remember in the early days, weeks, and months after Dude died I could not concentrate on anything but the loss. I went to work the day after he died (yes, some people think this is crazy, but I needed something to do. I needed to have a job – no pun intended). I left work when I got the call that he was gone, but didn’t skip a day between the April 4 and April 10 – the day I left for the funeral. Then I went back to work right after the funeral and haven’t taken any vacations since. Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to jet-setting down to Texas on Thursday and then off to Aruba in a few weeks.  The days, weeks and first few months after Dude died were my most productive.  I was a machine.  It was sort of a defense mechanism because if I sat there and thought about what had just happened, I would launch into ugly, gasping for breath sobs and that is just not something anyone should do at work – ever – unless you find out that he died while you are at work – then all bets are off --- yeah….

Anyway, back to grief brain.  Grief brain is a complete lack of productivity. It is full on distraction.  It tends to return at the month anniversaries or important dates.  I don’t welcome it for too long, but do allow it to come because it just is what it is and if I fight it, I’ll pay later. I’ve noticed it’s been particularly bad the last two days. Some of that has to do with all of the confusion going on at work.  I don’t have to focus as hard as I normally would until the dust settles and we all know where we fall.  Did I mention we are going through an agency reorganization and things are all mixed up? Nobody knows where I will end up, but I won’t lose my job so praise God for that. So, things are kind of fluid these days and we have a little breather.  That is good because I can have more flexibility with taking care of my dad.  We work in the same building.  Sometimes it is nice, sometimes it is annoying, but it is working out well because he should not be driving….and when he calls and says he doesn’t feel good and I have to end up taking him home to get Mom before a second trip to the ER, it works out well.  We are still waiting for Dad’s surgery to be scheduled.  For crying out loud, just do it!  We have a trip to Aruba.  We need a beach.

My dad being sick has certainly illuminated the loss of Dude.  I want him here. I know he would be here.  He was really close to my dad.  I know he would say “Calm down, Killer. Everything is going to be OK” And, if he was extra sweet, he would get me a cupcake because he knew a cupcake makes everything better in my book. And, I am sure he is here with me. It’s just that I want hugs and kisses and cupcakes and songs, too.  But, instead I have to “settle” for him watching over us.  And, hopefully, he is asking God to heal my dad just like I am asking God to heal my dad.

I am confident my brain is in Texas. It is thrilling to look at the clothes laid out to be packed.  They are lightweight with lots of stripes. I didn’t realize I liked stripes so much, but apparently I do.  And, I cannot wait to see all four Fentons! I didn’t get to see them last year, so I haven’t met the youngest member of the Fenton family, and I am so excited!  We are going to the rodeo, and shopping, and eating lots of yummy Mexican food….but no snow cones.  It is still “Winter” there so the snow cone stands are closed.

DC is supposed to get “Snowquester” tonight, four to eight inches.  That’s big for us!  I think I’ll catch the flakes as they fall and pack the snow in my suitcase.  I’ll bring it down so we can make homemade snow cones!

….and grief brain will fly away as my plane to Texas ascends into the sky….if not before.

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