I am an Olympic level procrastinator. I attained my 3rd degree black-belt in procrastination when I was in elementary school. Which is pretty much why I didn’t file my taxes until yesterday.
Also, I itemize my taxes and that’s another reason I was so late. I didn’t want to face the dates on my receipts and statements. I didn’t want to dig the happy times out of my receipt box and compare them to now.
Write-offs for June when we were planning what Z would take to college and what would stay at home. Write-offs for July when Z was happily taking care of her charges as a nanny. Write-offs for early August when the start of the next part of life was looming for both my girls.
I stopped keeping track of my receipts in August. Alex’s college plans got derailed for a while. Neither daughter started their respective colleges that fall.
I really detest the minefield of looking back at dates and remembering what was going on in the months prior to Z’s passing. Right now, all of those memories are ticked with a sense of lugubriousness rather than a feeling of gratefulness for the the good times we had that summer. Up until mid-August, it really was a good summer.
One of the things those of us that have suffered traumatic loss strive for is the sense of gratefulness. Even though they are gone, I am happy I got the time I did. I am happy for this and I am happy that happened. (lies I tell myself)
I was there regarding my time with Joe. It’s gotten a little off track in the past months, but I am so, so happy I had him in my life for those years. When I remember him, I don’t immediately remember how sick he was. I don’t remember his death or funeral. I don’t rush to anything sad. Instead, my memories flood in with everything happy. Our travels, our shenanigans, our budding life. I am grateful. I am grateful I was able to feel that profound and deep love for him. And I’m grateful I had the privilege of taking care of him from health through to death.
I’ve always felt much more at ease helping others rather than accepting help. I am in the camp that leans toward the idea that true and deep love is displayed in accepting help rather than giving it. Accepting help (in my mind) displays personal vulnerability. I am only vulnerable in the company those I love.
Joe gave his care fully to me. I was in charge of all angles of his treatment and care. The whole shebang. The only thing I didn’t do was actually ingest any medication on his behalf. I’ve always felt that was his ultimate display of love for me. Letting me take care of him in such a personal and defenseless way. I am grateful for everything about our relationship. Even the shitty parts.
I’m not there yet with Z. I just can’t get a handle of being grateful for the time I did get with her over my feelings of the un-fairness of her loss. I mean I am happy and proud she was my daughter. And I’m proud of the woman she (nearly) was. But more than that I feel defrauded by the universe. I really don’t want that to be my first emotion.
I suppose that’s part of the process. And I hope it wanes into the same sort of gratefulness I feel when I think of my late husband. I know it will. I know I will come to be grateful before I am angry. It’s just not right now.
My taxes are submitted. I’ve navigated the angry waters of last year’s calendar. I look forward to the future and keep hope that my frustration will subside into peace. I know peace can come. I’ve looked it in the face.
It is part of the process.
This process sucks. 0 stars. Would not recommend.