Skip to main content

12 Years, 11 Months

That's how long it's been since the last family funeral. It's funny, because just last week I was recollecting my Grandpa's visitation. I wrote:

The visitation before my grandpa’s funeral is actually a fond and pleasant recollection. Yes, it was somber. I remember seeing his body, my grandma looking small beside the casket. And then we went upstairs. To the room where family gets to graciously retire. In this case, the room where all the cousins get to play euchre. It was a weird mix of requisite quiet and the inevitable laughter of having all of us together. I remember flipping through a Reader’s Digest from a coffee table, quickly bored and uninterested in staying, knowing we couldn’t really have any fun, yet desperately wanting to avoid the reality of death that was playing itself out downstairs. I guess the pleasantry of this memory is that we were all together, and I was young enough to be content with that, and of all my grandparents, this was the one I knew least. So it could have been much worse, but it wasn’t. It was almost like a family reunion with a bit less laughing and just as much food.

In the morning, I am getting on a plane for Ontario. For a funeral. This time it's my Grammie. This time it was expected. There will probably not be any cousins. I don't know if we have been able to reach the one that I have on this side of the family. I don't think I'll be able to hide in the relatives' room this time around. And I don't feel any more prepared for dealing with a grieving family. I love my family. I grieve with them. I feel broken for my Grampie. And I feel useless. But I also feel peace. And I want to be there.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fostering FAQ: How Can You Say Goodbye?

It seems I finally have something(s) to say... Here's the first in a short (or maybe long?) series on Fostering FAQs. If you've got a question to add, feel free to comment/email/text/message me and maybe the next post will be in response.

--

8:30 am on Day 4 of parenting. I woke up in a panic two hours ago because I remembered that there is a baby and I am responsible for her (at least at 6:30am, when the man beside me will snore through anything). Now, I have put on clothes and eaten breakfast. The dogs are walked, there is a loaf of banana bread in the oven. My tea is steeping. Most importantly, Dream Baby is already down for her first nap.

Despite my morning efficiency, I'm already beginning to see that even with the happiest, most easygoing, and smiliest baby, like we somehow managed to be given, parenting is a grind. On Friday night, I couldn't join friends for $5 pints at a local joint. Instead, I blearily washed the same 8 bottles again, and then made another ba…

Fostering FAQ: How Long Will She Stay/Will You Adopt Her?

Our first foster baby came with about 18 hours notice; it was respite care, which means we had him for a few days while his regular foster family had a break/dealt with a family emergency. He stayed 3 nights, long enough to come to church and have a dozen people cooing over his little sleeping cheeks.  With each new visitor to our quiet corner, I explained again that he would be going back to his foster family the next day.

Barely a week later, we got a 9am phone call with a fostering request and by the same afternoon, we were snuggling her. This time, we had her for 4 days before church came around. Again, our community was keen to see the little one we had in tow. Again, the question, "How long will she stay?" And this time, "Are you going to adopt her?"

--

Here in Toronto, when a child is placed in foster care, it is always for an indefinite length of time. It depends on the parents' situation, and whether they are able to make a safe home environment for th…

5 Rules for Being a (North) American Adult or No One Wants You to Love Yourself

5 Rules for Being a (North) American Adult
(paraphrased from a lecture by Anne Lamott, whose priest friend shared them with her many years ago)

1. Have it all together. 2. If you don't have it all together, fix whatever is broken in you so that you do have it all together. 3. If you can't fix whatever's broken, pretend that you have. 4. If you can't pretend to be fixed, don't show up - it's a bit embarrassing to the rest of us. 5. If you do decide to show up broken, at least have the decency to be ashamed of yourself.
--
We are encultured towards self-loathing and self-avoidance. 
Be perfect. Do it all, do it right.  If you can't be better, pretend you are. Don't look any deeper. Keep busy. Keep your chin up. Keep up appearances.
It takes so much energy. It takes too much energy.
--
What would happen if I just loved myself? is the question I have been asking since my last post.
It's the question I hear when I see photos of lovely fat ladies who refuse…