Thank you again, and I would love to hear some things you have discovered to help deal with issues...
You do for your people in what THEY like to do. In YOUR style. So if the kid likes punk rock music and video games and you like photography, make pictures of the things that HE likes then.
For yourself -- check universities, coffee houses, adult stores -- places where fine art nudes would be more welcome. I do not know where you live but you know you could just throw your images in low res to display on the Internet. Shine your light wherever it is you like.
I find that every family culture is different. For instance my DH's family does NOT really talk about these things. I have witnessed a few passings over the years and there's a lot of... internalizing that I do not think is healthy or needed.
Where my fam? It's like a hobby. Illness and death come along like donuts and coffee. And my mom has the Death Drill. Every time I go over there the gives me the tour -- "here is my jewelry, here is my folder of papers, here are the account numbers, THIS is my preference for funeral home..."
We roll our eyes and do the Dead Drill to satisfy her.
I tease her that she forgot to lay 2 Kleenex in between the pages of the Dead Folder so when my sis and I have to deal with it we do not have to fight over tissue. Mom laughed and punched my arm.
DH teased her that she ought to have polaroids of her flowers. She stopped to think about it and said "What a great idea!" and we laughed and rolled our eyes and full expect a new addition to the folder to include pix of funeral flower arrangements!
Even as we yank her chain we appreciate her effort to plan and make the transition as easy on US as possible -- life without mom. We have to get our own shit in order. One of the greatest gifts you can leave your people is to NOT to have to suffer too much confusion at that particular Life Change. The passage into death and sending a loved one off. It's not like you do it all the time unless you are in the business like a funeral home director. Most people only do the big stuff a few times first hand -- births, weddings, deaths. That's why the milestone markers are milestones.
My family culture also tends to the dead -- visiting resting places, bringing flowers, etc. In memorium on the birthdays of the departed, the funeral date, holiday, day of the dead, whatever. Just when the mood strikes. We're not THAT formal about it. DH inclines toward having a wake and he's breaking with his family culture in wishing to be cremated. I know I'm being cremated and I'm down with the wake thing.
Why not celebrate my exit just as my entrance to the ongoing party on Earth was celebrated?
When we could afford to, I made DH send his mom a check to order flowers for his grandmother's bday for her resting place. It's not part of his natural family culture. But he rolls with it and I know it comforts his mother. I think he just prefers some of how my family copes with things.
So if your family culture is not normally one that speaks of these things -- you could choose to change the culture! Someone has to be first.
His mom tends to look me up for Hard Conversation. Hard Conversation gets easier in time to do -- you just speak honestly from the heart. It's Hard to do still. But. It gets easier to do Hard.
I am first born and I bear the burden of being "the rock" too. But me? I will rage, shout, stomp, cry, invoke words of power and carry on. Totally spill all my marbles. Then I will pick them back up and STILL do the thing that needs doing. I've always done that. And this is what I wish to keep on modeling for my child, now that there IS a child watching me. Yes, life is truly horrible sometimes. Yes, life is truly wonderful sometimes. And our people? We keep on keepin' on. We do our duty. We do not shirk. We can do it in our own style, but hell. We damn well DO it!
You are expected to have moments of marble spillage. It happens. Such is life. The point? You get back up again. The strength is not in the never
falling down. The strength is in the always
popping back up again.
I tend to embrace Life in all its glory.
It's ridiculous, maddening, bizarre. It's infuriating, amazing, transcendent.
There are times in my life where I just have to have one of those wild hair moments. Push it out to the edge, go out to the border. I've had my adventures when I choose to go have them. DH always laughs at me -- because he's been along for most of the ride.
He knows I just burn. I burn with not a deathwish, but a huge lifewish. I want to live it large, live it in color, and live it passionately. I only get the one.
And for me to enjoy the Hang Times at the Forge where I just BURN with great pleasures of living? There must be a balance and I must Hang at the Forge where I just BURN with the angst of living. I want full spectrum Life Pendulum Swing.
That is the price of admission. And that is the price I gleefully will pay. I only get the one. Life is not a dress rehearsal.
One of my favorite quotes is
“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”
― Terry Pratchett, Wintersmith
One of my fav 'keeping on" kinda of songs? Tubthumping. Lyrics here.
Another one -- Bang a Gong
. Lyrics here.
Sacred is wherever you find it. Religion is wherever you choose to receive it. You choose your things in your Life.
And yes. I take the drink and raise a toast -- to my people, living or dead.
I know they will do same for me when time comes. That in of itself is great comfort -- this business of being oh, so Very Human. You never are being Human alone.
In YOUR process? You've just begun your process. You may not be at the tub thumping gong banging place yet -- where you have marshalled together to get back to be makin' your noise to add your voice to chorus on this
side of the deal. So what? Make your noise on that side in the way you need to make it!
That "making a joyful noise unto the Lord" business? Even if you do not subscribe to that belief system? There's something there. But as a science person -- I feel it has to have the match on the other side. "When you make a terrible
noise unto the Lord." It MUST happen. For there to be balance.
But that's alright. I can bang a bit extra for you on this side til you are ready to rejoin if you like. Should we happen to cross in Life Pendulum swing and I'm heading for the Hang Time of the Ugh side and you are upswinging to the Hang Time of the Good I'll be glad to slip you the high five.
Swing on, brother. Swing on.
No. Not Easy to feel. Not not easy to endure. But a broken heart still keeps on beating all the same. Your volume may be low right now, but you aren't done banging. Not yet.
"Just when you'd think they were more malignant than ever Hell could be, they could occasionally show more grace than Heaven ever dreamed of. Often the same individual was involved. It was this freewill thing, of course. It was a bugger."
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, "Good Omens"
Authentic living. It's powerful stuff.
I see you.
I see you.
I see you.