Thursday, April 19, 2018

How Are You Doing?

I thought I would write a post about how I am doing. Several friends (bless you) have checked in on me and I just don't answer my phone. It might seem rude but I just can't answer knowing what the conversation will be about. I despise talking on the phone and am much better in person or via text/email/instagram DM/facebook message/snapchat/Marco get the idea. It is much easier to hide behind my laptop and pour my heart out here than when I can get follow-up questions.

I'm okay. 

But I've been sick since I came back to Charlotte after the funeral. Apparently this is pretty normal after a stressful event (article HERE). I honestly think I was running on adrenaline from the moment Mom died. I won't go into details but the type of sick that you can't get out there and exercise, eat normally, feel good, feel happy. I'm no stranger to weird sicknesses (kidney stone that shut down kidneys at age 8, two bouts of Sepsis that put me in ICU with organ failure) but this is just a pain. On top of it I had a sinus infection that wiped me out the 2nd week and this other issue just won't quit. I'm on some PSYCHO antibiotics that I would rather not be taking but I trust my doctor and we are just trying to wipe out whatever it is. But when you feel like sh*t it is hard to be happy.

Also, to add insult to injury I can't drink on these meds for 10 days. TEN DAYS. So I begged my doctor for some xanax. Yep, I'm Karen from Will and Grace.

Aside from the stupid medical crap, I'm hanging in there. The first week was awful. I cried a lot. But then had to rally and host Easter. We typically go to Asheville but after all the back and forth I just wanted to be home. Easter was wonderful (even sick) and then Monday after I was sick all over again. So the second week was awful but a little less. The third week was awful, but okay, and here we are in the fourth week.

I think after the funeral is the hardest. There is a perfectly written article about this HERE called "The Grieving Need You the Most After the Funeral". This is so so so so true and important. From this article:
Just as the shock begins to wear off and the haze is lifted and you start to feel the full gravity of the loss; just as you get a clear look at the massive crater in your heart—you find yourself alone.
For me, the flowers have died, the cards have stopped coming (snail mail is incredibly appreciated in the time of social media) and everyone has gone about their lives. (As everyone should! This is not a guilt trip, more of an information session) This was compounded by the fact that Easter and then Spring Break came immediately after so I just felt alone. Grief is lonely. Losing a parent at the age of 38 is the worst. Unfortunately I have several friends in this club and more that are soon to be members. It just plain sucks. 

I feel that some expected me to be okay after my 24 hour getaway to Ballantyne and come home healed and ready to move on. (I desperately wanted to run away to a beach and be like Diane Keaton in "Something's Gotta Give" writing and crying in a drop dead gorgeous home). I mean I had been grieving for 7 years, I hadn't really had a "Mom" in forever. But to be motherless, the finality of it, hurt beyond my expectations.

It felt like, Now what? People have stopped reading these posts. I completely understand that the readership increased to find out Mom's status but it has dropped off drastically. How do I still advocate and fundraise for Alzheimer's without our mascot?  I don't have any new stories. I don't have any new pictures. I don't have HER. So much of my life has revolved around being a champion for her cause and now I don't have her. 

So I'm okay. I'm working and trying to be the best Mom to my kiddos that have needed me back in their lives. I feel like I haven't been home all of 2018 but living in a permanent limbo of Asheville to Charlotte to Asheville mindset. 

I want to thank my girlfriends for regularly checking on me. Food, wine, random drop offs of strawberries, casseroles, starbucks, flowers. Showing up and sitting here until midnight while I cried my eyes out. Texting to check on me. Texting me about lipgloss knowing that that was a covert secret operation to really see how I was doing, and knowing that shopping on the internet can take anyone's mind off life. 

I still want to write about planning the funeral, and the funeral itself. But I thought I should touch base about me in general. Say a small prayer that we get through her birthday (May 3rd) and Mother's Day this year without too many tears. The Mother's Day stuff is everywhere it seems.

I love all of you. And I promise this wasn't a SOS for wine and cards. Just know that if you have a friend grieving and it has been days, months, or even years...that they still are grieving. Send a text. Check in on them. BB was best at this type of thing. The little things matter.


  1. I'M HERE! still reading every time you post. You are strong and I can't even imagine how you do it or did it. But so thankful I found your honest and real voice on the interwebs. xoxo

  2. Hang in there, and as always thank you so much for sharing, we all are praying for you and your family

  3. Yes, it's very hard. I remember thinking when my mom died of AD/Parkinson's that I'd cried so many tears over the years of her illness that by the time she actually died I'd be just about done grieving. Was I ever wrong! The worst of the grief only began then, and the finality of her death brought out all the losses over the years--when I wanted to tell her about wedding dress shopping with my daughter and all she wanted to talk about was her constipation, when she didn't react either to the news that my daughter was pregnant or that my son was getting married (she wasn't talking by that time). I was in my fifties, not my thirties like you, when my mom got sick, but I think we don't outgrow needing our moms no matter how old we are. I think our culture expects us to reach a point of closure with loss--after the funeral, or after a specific period of time--but I don't think the heart ever gets closure. It'a hard, and it will get easier, but it's early days for you yet. I imagine you worry about your dad (how's he doing?), and yes, Mothers Day will hurt something fierce (and people do go on and on about it).
    I continue to hold you in my heart and in my prayers.

  4. It's a hole that can't be filled, losing a parent. And you're right, you won't stop grieving and that hole will never be filled but over time the pain will be less sharp--a long time. After all, you had her for a long time. I still, after 17 years since my mother's death and 42 after my father's, think about them. Mostly stuff like, "Oh, I'll ask Mom..." about some trivial thing--gossip, or a recipe, or I want to tell her about Ginny, her great-granddaughter. My father is so distant now, but I still think of him, and I see him in my children.
    So yesterday, I got a phone call from Hendersonville, and I didn't know the number, and I ususally don't answer, but I did because I thought NC, maybe something to do with BB or Kat or Beano. When I did, a frail elderly voice asked for me, completely mangling the pronunciation of my name. I almost hung up. But it was a lovely lady from your mother's hospice, I donated to it in BB's name, calling to thank me. And that was a small good thing.
    Much love from me.

  5. I was 33 when Daddy died and 35 when Momma died; I guess I still was too much in shock to feel much that first week. The second week was my undoing; I was not a good mother to my children then; they were sent to a camp they hated. but I needed time. I also appreciated every little note; no cell phones to text. It does get better, but will always be a huge loss. Family milestones and get-togethers will be hard but cathartic. Love you, Pam

  6. Still reading and still here, thanks for sharing all the details. Praying as you navigate the small and big moments of your grief journey.

  7. Keep writing! I don’t know you in real life but we are beginning this walk with my father-in-law and I found/find your post so helpful. Your hilarious and so truthful. So much info that I can pass along to my MIL and husband. So thank you for being you and being real!

  8. Oh Katharine, we miss you! I hope you are better. Thank you for opening our eyes to the realness in life; it can be so brutal. Please don't forget about us. We're cheering for you!

  9. We miss you Katharine. Thank you for sharing your life. I hope you're better! You have a following and we read every single post you write. Sometimes it can be so brutal, but my God, it is so real. You are beautiful and much loved!