This weekend my brother, my beloved "Middle Mouse" (I'm Big Mouse as the oldest, you get the idea...) had a health scare. A scare that held terrifying echoes of Jason's illness. Thankfully, he is & will be ok. I got to see him and hug him yesterday and the relief of realizing that he was going to be fine was astounding... I took a breath I realized I had been holding for two days. Muscles unknotted that I didn't know were clenched. And now I have a confession to make:
I did not react well. At all. I didn't rush to his side immediately. I barely could talk about it. I didn't text him right away. I could not be there for him.
I was paralysed. I was so scared at the thought of losing him - of watching his amazing wife and beautiful daughters try to weather that pain, of seeing my parents tossed back into such a nightmare- that I froze. I tried to soldier through. I tried to not think about it. And you can guess how that worked out.
I am failing at things. It is so hard to admit that, but it is the truth. I am so stretched tight that I have no give... I cannot live my life the way I want to right now. Objectivity and logic are drowned out in pure adrenaline fueled panic and confusion. What do we do when we are no longer the person we were? When our brain and body will not behave according to our wishes? When we realize we are very much naked in the storm?
For me, I think I may need to start internalizing the messages from the people I love and trust. The people who are telling me to take care of myself, to be kind and gentle with myself. To listen to myself. To forgive myself and to start to let go.
I cannot let this experience ruin me. I need to accept the change, in my life and I myself. I need to let go of the guilt.
I am adapting to his absence. That is healthy... not a sign of disloyalty. It doesn't mean I didn't love him, that I didn't fight hard enough for him. I did... and he died anyway. Carrying on with my life is the only sane and healthy choice I can make.
I am enough for my children. They lost their father and it was and will continue to be a brutal experience. First and foremost they need their mama. And I am getting there again. As shame filled as I am about my behavior in the past months, I know I was just surviving. I am not superwoman or June Cleaver. I made some mistakes and now I will make them right. I need my children and they need me. And there is no one who can do a better job of helping them heal and thrive and emerge into amazing people. We are a family, as we are.
So I'm choosing to take a little time off work... I'm very lucky to have this option, it will make things extremely tight financially, but I really need some time. I need to come back to the land of the living and get stronger. And I will. Because through all of this I've had a deeo seated feeling that I will be ok. It's going to be ok.