What do you do after beginning what is scheduled to be a 2 year sabaatical and ending the worst 10 days of memory?
Start a scrapbook? Knit? Watch a Spongebob marathon?
I don't know what to do. My kids, parents and I spent 9 days in Florida and travelling after hearing of my aunt's suicide. I performed the funeral, technically memorial service. We are now home. I have what I used to counsel people as "alien syndrome."
Alien syndrome comes as the aftermath of any major emotional event. You return to "normal" life and nothing is normal. You cry and laugh at the wrong times. You can't get on a normal schedule. In my case, I am having a hard time digesting and breathing. Any time anyone asks about last week my stomach starts to roil and churn. If I start talking, I begin to feel like I'm having an asthma attack. Writing this is unpleasant, so I'm going to move on.
I have been talking to myself.
The Rev. Me says, "Don't rush. Don't push. Don't commit to anything on a schedule. Don't do retail therapy. But go ahead and buy more Tums."
The Niece Me says, "AHHHHHHHHHCHCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!"
The Rev. Me says, "That is a perfectly healthy reaction."
The Niece Me says, "Shut up, you holier than thou, know-it-all, snot weed!"
The Rev. Me says, "Anger is an appropriate..."
The Niece Me interrupts, "Get me TUMS NOW!"
These have not been productive discussions.
The Rev. Me is calm that this is all going the way grief goes, particularly in the almost immeasurable grief of suicide. The Rev. Me understands that the pressure of having to do the service was immense and I was not allowed to grieve fully, nor experience healing through the service. The Rev. Me feels that blogging about grief after losing a loved one to suicide is healthy and removes some of the stigma for others.
The Niece Me just wants to be alone. No, with the kids. No, walk with the dogs. Wait. Let me try to eat. No, that did not work. Listen to the Rev. Me. No, she's an idiot. Talk to people. No! Don't talk. Take pottery lessons. No, drawing! No, go to bed.
"This is healthy, Niece!"
"Shove a sock in it, Rev."