news from the sober bereavement club…

so hi.

my aunt Edna died this morning.  She was a lovely person, full of life and vitality.

maybe I should tell you a little bit about my father’s family.  she was my father’s sister.

my grandmother, MomMom, died last December, and I might have written a little bit about her family then, but I don’t remember.

MomMom divorced her husband, Jesse Sr in 1945 when she was about 22, because he drank and beat her up when he was drunk.  When Jesse Sr started beating up on her children, MomMom drew a line.  this she would not take.  so she divorced him, becomign a single mother in 1945, three small children.  my father was about four.  my father was also being sexually abused by his father, and this would take place from the time my father was about four to the time he was about a teenager.  I guess they call that incest.  it had terrible consequences for my father, who never received counseling for what happened to him until after his suicide attempt in 2007.

then, my father was being divorced with great prejudice from my mother, whose shame and embarrassment were indeed great.

so.  I guess my father hasn’t received counseling for that – I think he mostly needed help with the divorce.  ummm…  also, then, after the suicide attempt, he let us know he considered himself “a homosexual.”  and that is a hell of a way to come out of the closet!

so my brother greg acted the way he would like to act – with an open heart, love and compassion.  then greg became such a jackass.  he called dad furious, venting all the frustrations of his angry, mis-spent youth on my father.  who was certaily ill-equipped to handle them at the time.

my therapist says that underneath all anger is fear.  underneath all fear is anger.  I wonder, now, as I’m writing about this, what is my brother greg so fucking afraid of?

I don’t know if greg is coming to the funeral – I hope he will remian at home in new mexico.  I hope I will not have to see him and experience another funeral where he does not speak to me.  the first one, my grandmother’s, was hard enough.

so my aunt knew about my dad’s divorce, my dad’s being gay.  they were really close.  there was a lot of love between them and although he had two older sisters, Edna filled the role of both.  he must be going through so much pain now and I want to be there to help him.  I’m going to fly otu tomorrow.

it seems so strange to me.  why now?  how can I be of the most help?  how can I support my dad, who is surely suffering a great loss.  how can I just get on a plane, fly to georgia, and be a wall, a crutch, something for my dad to lean on.  because I love my dad so much and I want to be there to help him.

and here’s the acid test of whether or not not my sobriety is going to stick.  this is it.  I want it to stick.  I want to rent a car so I can go to AA meetings if I need to.  I just …  I’m just a little overwhelmed.  I need to stay plugged into the internet, because my mom’s going to send me an itinerary, and my work is going to email me about what I need to do today, and there’s some things I need to take care of before I go, like laundry and sewing the dress I’m borrowing from my roommate so it won’t have a seam ripped at the funeral.

oh and packing.  I need to pack.

I’m sad.  this side of the family is normally so happy – so filled with laughter.  that was the thing that surprised me most at my grandmother’s funeral.  we were there, and we laughed and told jokes and remembered.  and we caught up on each other, and there was so much love (except for the part of my brother not talking to me – that was pain-filled.)  so much love and joy and gratefulness.

and this generation is passing away – their stories and struggles are so profoundly different from our own.  what’s graduate school to a woman who has to walk to work every day of the year, so she can save 25 cents a week so she can buy christmas presents for her kids?

what’s my life and my struggles?  oh god.

I want to stay sober.  I don’t want to relapse.  so I will muster the strength for the next few moments, and then a few moments after that.  that’s all I can do right now.