The more I don’t want to hear it, the louder the echo sounds

I spend too much of my time in a hurry I don’t understand.

It’s tempting to pin it all on work (with the stream of emails, the need to have things to put up on a giant whiteboard as indicators of forward motion, the meetings with their “what will you do differently because of this, tomorrow?” questions), but not entirely accurate.

Because in the not work stuff department, there is the matter of my inconvenient and difficult feelings, and how I’d rather not have them. So I create this self-imposed pressure to hurry up and get it over with, to get back to the not-feeling-this way part, the part of my life where I’m not thinking about my mother and the upcoming anniversary of her death. Where I’m not reminded that about this time, six years ago (long enough to be over it, clearly, past it and untroubled, right?) the work I was doing involved washing sheets, doling out medication, sitting with Mom and her pastor to plan her funeral, and witnessing goodbyes.

And waiting. The terrible kind of waiting where you know the event you are waiting for is inevitable, needs to happen, in a logical way it will be a relief when it happens, but still, how can you sit around and wait for that? Will you know it when it happens, when what you are waiting for is probably going to be something not happening, the next breath that doesn’t come? The waiting that stretches out in the dark to be endless, because everything is harder in the dark, it’s some master rule of the universe that the hours after midnight and before sunrise are endless. The waiting that ends and opens up some entirely different world, where something central is missing, and how do you wait your way through that?

So I’m in the middle of a long weekend this weekend. I gave myself a time out from work, because the hurry parts were making me cranky and weepy. The hurry part where I don’t want to take the time to slow down and breathe and be here now and all that other touchy feely crap I so desperately wish did not apply to me in any way has been making me particularly irritable. I’ve learned enough to recognize when I’m irritated with virtually every person I interact with, it is really me, not them. Damn it.

This is the part where I admit it’s still hard, every March into April. Every year I think it it won’t be, I think this year will be different. I think I know better now, I’m paying attention, I’ve put in my time and I’m not going to be grief’s punching bag. Then I realize the gloves are on my own hands, I’m the one making it harder.

It’s not fair, it’s complicated, and it’s spring. Again.

5 thoughts on “The more I don’t want to hear it, the louder the echo sounds

  1. I can’t say that I completely understand the way you do, but I get it. Here’s hoping your long weekend helps you find some peace, quiet, and stillness.

  2. My sister, only a year and a half older than me, died close to my birthday not quite 4 years ago – in 2004. I was fortunate that I could minister to her a bit just before she died, and I know that I will see her again.

    She died in pain, with no other person around her, but not alone.

    This has been a most difficult week for me and my family, with one daughter coming under some persecution that we thought was past, another being bodily threatened, and the oldest leaving her mom in Oklahoma in an acrimonious split and not knowing where she’s going to live.

    But the peace that surpasses understanding gives the ability to not only cope but conquer with joy and thanksgiving.

    Slowing down, as you have found, is a key component of peace. Hard to do sometimes, but just waiting for a clear outcome helps.

    God bless.
    – matt

  3. Thanks, Holly. My long weekend did give me some of that much-needed time to un-hurry.

    Matt, I’m sorry to hear about what your family is going through. I really appreciate your comment, thank you. It’s good for me to be reminded that when my brain is screaming at me to fix things, that is when I should not be relying on just my brain, and just my idea of what “fixing” is.

  4. The suffering of humanity is unending. Humanity is a stranger to us. Love gives us a face. Love gives us a life to share. Love brings us to suffering. Not alone. Forever touched, forever changed. I offer you my hope and my love. I share in your grief. Spring for me, too will never be welcomed the same way. My hope is in Spring when death becomes new life. I love you Jenny and think of you and Lisa often. -Sandy

  5. Hello 12 frogs,

    Thanks for your comment about Buffy on my blog.
    As for death and grief–
    I believe the U.S. workplace grants us exactly three DAYS to get over a death, so it’s no wonder we Americans are hard on ourselves when grief lasts just a wee bit longer than that, eh?

    A friend who lived in Bulgaria said people there post public pictures and announcements on the first, fifth, and tenth anniversaries of someone’s death. (As one friend facetiously commented, no wonder it took them so long to get into the EU, wasting time like that.)

    My mother died five years ago, and I count on being wiped out around the anniversary. Our grief is one of the things that makes us human, and we are wise to honor it. Good for you for taking time off to do so.
    Best to you and yours,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *