me + grief + dad + inheritances

Alyssa wrote last week about the physical dimension of grief in response to the sudden death of her best friend. And Herba wrote a few months ago about phantom noises in relationship to grief.

A day or so after I got home from the funeral my whole body began to ache. When I moved and when I didn’t move. The space around me in the world started to take on the texture of pink fiberglass insulation. Eventually I had a blood test for mono. No mono. Gradually it became easier to breathe, and the ache subsided, everywhere except in my right heel. Lately when I’m sleeping the ache in the heel turns bitter cold and twists unpleasantly and wakes me up. I have not ordered the vitamin supplement someone has suggested. Maybe I need the reminder. I wear supports in my shoes and call it plantar fasciitis and try not to groan when I forget the ache is there and step on it unsuspectingly.

When I was home at Christmas, the house made all the same noises it always made. I did not hear my mother in the house. My father dreams of her, wandering through the upstairs rooms. He could not touch her clothes and says he hopes he will sleep better now that they are gone. He lets himself fall asleep on the living room sofa and then around midnight or so he moves into their bed where he sleeps till morning. From sofa to bed, from bed to sofa, he carries with him the fleece coverlet given to her by her boss and the afghan she was knitting in the rehab center before she died. I could not knit it closed, but one of the church ladies knitted an end onto it for him so it won’t ravel.

The ladies in the ladies’ aid are finishing the quilts she started quilting for the nieces last spring. I know how to quilt, but it would take me so long by myself and the quilting frame set up in the living room that whole time.

Three weeks ago Dad fell on the outside steps to the house. He had his cell phone in his pocket and called his best friend, who came to take him to the emergency room. He lay outside for twenty minutes. At the emergency room they said he did not get frostbite but he broke his ankle. He reaggravated the injury about a week later, using his tractor to plow the snow out of his driveway.

My tells me that he drags himself to work but cannot make himself go to church.

We learned at Christmas that we will inherit some money. I have not been able to make myself sign the necessary paperwork.

My mother had an inherited condition called “essential tremor.” Sometimes, now, I see my left hand shaking, when I set my books on the podium, before I start to lecture, and I wonder.

Then I shake out my arm from the shoulder to the wrist and turn to face the class and begin.

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~ by Servetus on January 26, 2014.

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