This is probably the first of several posts about Simon's death, and being there with Mom, and my reactions then and after. (Mom, you don't have to read these; if I write anything I think you'd rather not read, I'll flag it/use a cut tag.)
It took me a few days after my return to realize that I wasn't jet lagged anymore, and it wasn't just tiredness from missing sleep while traveling: grief is draining. I'm feeling a bit slow, mentally. I'm still doing good work, I think, but it's taking me longer than usual. Fortunately, my boss Wendy is understanding of what I've been through, and how it's affecting me. (My direct boss, Marilyn, is out sick right now, so a less sympathetic person than Wendy might be leaning on me: of a team of three, two of us were out all of last week, and Marilyn is still out and we're not sure when she'll be back.)
When I realized some of what was going on, I emailed my beloveds, partly so they'd know and partly because writing things down helps me remember them. I got a thoughtful and sympathetic reply from adrian_turtle
, who pointed out that being present at a death is hard. I don't know if that's always true, but it seems to be here. In some ways, it's not something we're prepared for, culturally. On some levels, yes. I knew enough that when Mom asked me if I was sure that Simon had stopped breathing, I first thought of the old idea of seeing if the person was fogging a mirror, and then realized that I could check for a pulse at wrist and neck. And in the minute, where patience and compassion were needed, I had what I needed: from my family, and choices since. (Adrian and I were discussing this in another context, the last time I was in Massachusetts, and she suggested that compassion may be partly inborn, and partly upbringing, but we keep making choices, and mine tend to be in that direction. Not all of them, but enough.)
On my way to buy lunch today, I noticed myself blinking away tears, and thought "It's okay to cry." I haven't cried, much, over this: a little bit last week, while rysmiel
was visiting: no specific trigger, just a minute of "hold on a moment, I need to be hugged" and then the tears ebbed and we went on with what we'd been doing. cattitude
has been holding me, and encouraging me to cut myself slack, and I'm basically figuring that I will go to work (and concern myself more with doing the work well enough than with how fast it gets done), go to the gym, and otherwise take it easy: read some, play scrabble if we're up for it, play with the cat, be glad it's finally spring.
On the practical side, I called Delta Airlines today, with the ticket number (I called yesterday and was told I needed that), and got a helpful person who looked at the records she could see, called in her supervisor (who can see older information), and told me what I would need to do to get a refund. This is a relief after the dismissive people I'd gotten on the phone when I called to change the return flight while I was in London.