this post may not make a lot of sense, but too bad. Welcome to the stream of my consciousness.
I have been missing my mom a lot lately--more than I did in January. Maybe this is because I have been traveling so much and now I'm "home" and "settled" for several months running with no big trips planned. Maybe it's because I'm back in everyday life without excitement to distract me. Maybe it's because I have a cold and I hate being sick without my mom to turn to. Maybe it's because I haven't used my resources of my YAV community well. Maybe it's because Jason is gone now (only for a short time, but still) and he's the one who keeps me sane. Or maybe it's because with his grandmother dying I feel like my own grief process has to be finished in order to be there for him. In any case, I miss my mom.
I have been thinking about the grief process, and about how we have talked about "grief work." I keep wondering if I am doing the work or just glossing over it, and then I realize that I don't even know what the work is. Will I get back to the US and find I need months and months of therapy before I can be a good pastor or a normal human being simply because I didn't do the homework? Am I going to be irreparably damaged because I've decided to continue living my call to Egypt even in the midst of huge pain? I hope not, but I wonder sometimes.
I have also been thinking about other people and why no one seems to care about all that pain. And there are two answers, of course: one is that everyone has pain and it's not all about me, and the second is that I haven't talked about it with "everyone" (anyone?) so of course they don't care because they don't even know about it. But on the other hand, this whole year is not about me using the group to do the "work"--it's about service. And there's something in there about community building too, but sometimes building community with this group is hard work. Well, building community with any group becomes hard work at some point, but I guess what I want to say is that we've reached that point. I am learning a lot about holding "all things in common"--including some things that I would normally say are very much mine (like things from my kitchen, and my computer). I am also learning that when a bunch of people who don't want to hurt anyone else's feelings are all together, no one's feelings ever actually get asked about or taken into account during all the tiptoeing around. Instead of no one getting hurt, no one's spiritual or emotional needs are being met. And that's frustrating. So no wonder no one cares about the pain I'm in--their own needs aren't being met AND we've not set a precedent for how to actually meet anyone's needs.
Now for something not meant to make a single clay family member feel guilty--it's just there. What with the whole grandmother situation, I definitely feel like my support system has shifted focus--which it has, and rightfully so. But now where do I go? Who will take my tear-filled emails? Who will give me the hugs I need without feeling like they're putting their own needs on hold? I guess I'm wondering--where does my grief process fit in with this new one? Where's the balance here? I don't know it yet, obviously, since they haven't even had the funeral yet. But the thoughts are there anyway.
Another thing about this...as horrible as this sounds, I'm kind of mad at my mom. I asked her a zillion times to tell me if it was time, so I could come home. She promised me she would, that she would let me know. This is actually, I think, the only promise my mother has ever broken. but honestly--it's a big one. One phone call--even if I couldn't have gone in time, just one phone call--to say goodbye, so I could tell her I loved her, so we could talk one last time. but no. Our last conversation was a few minutes on my 25th birthday, and she was crying and talking about giving up, and I tried to encourage her, and then she said it was okay. Would it have been so bad to at least call once more..even if it was that last day? Cell phones make international calls--she could have even called from the hospital. But no...nothing. Just me, finding out from my brothers AIM away message that my mom had died that morning.
Which brings me to being mad at myself, for not realizing that she was serious and that I should go home then. I had ten days--ten days of wondering whether I should go, and deciding not to. Ten days I could have spent with my mom. Why didn't I realize it was time to go? Why did I push myself to believe that she would tell me when to come? Why didn't I listen to the very very quiet inner voice?
But the overriding thought? I miss my mom so much, and I would give anything in the whole world to talk to her just one more time. One more....
Mom, I love you. You are stubborn but great. I love you.
Once you have come to the end of this, if you haven't already read the post below RE the cartoons, please do. It's important to this place where I live, and important to my life here.