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Category: Grief

Rest in the Time of Coronavirus (and, um, Brain Cancer)

I was talking with my brother, Paul, sister-in-law Sarah, and David this week, when Sarah and I got to chatting about writing. She’s diligent, writing 500 words every morning at her computer before starting her work day, and it impresses me. (She also walks miles every day, does other exercising every day, cooks elaborate meals every day–meanwhile I sit on the couch to type this in the sweats I’ve been wearing for two days and I’m about to throw some shredded chicken and store-bought enchilada sauce in the oven and call it dinner. I know women aren’t supposed to compare themselves, but…you guys, these sweats are from Old Navy. They’re threadbare at this point. It’s all I’m saying). My point is, Sarah is hustling. My life is so anti-hustle these days I can’t even rest properly. (Anyone else not able to sleep anymore? I know it’s not just me.) During our conversation the subject of this blog came up, and Paul thanked me for finally posting something last Friday that wasn’t about…

Easter During a Pandemic: Well, That was Different

Quinlan was in my bathroom Sunday morning as we were getting ready to go see my mom. It was Easter. We’d giggled over the baskets and laughed through the backyard egg hunt and baked and eaten the Resurrection Rolls, but we’d also watched a lot of LEGO Star Wars, and every single one of us fell asleep during a televised Easter Mass. Normally at that time David and I are running around doing last-minute clean-up, cooking, decorating, because we always host Easter dinner for the family at our house in the afternoon. We were so not busy this particular morning. I wasn’t hollering at anybody to vacuum the stairs or comb the hair or help me set out the silverware. There were no spring flowers on the table, or lilies rising from pastel foil to fill the house with their sneeze-inducing scent. David went for a run. It was weird. I had taken a curling iron to my hair for the first time in a month and a half–these days the hair is air-dried and forgotten about, a process I am fully on board with–and Quinlan…

Mom’s Decline, and A Little Psychological Sewing

I thought maybe I should spare you an update this week, because I’m in a crappy, crappy mood (a friend asked Sunday how Mom was doing, and do you know what I said? “Oh, she’s totally dying.” The poor guy looked like I’d slapped him in the face). Mom has been declining again–no sooner did we pull her off hospice than she started acting like, well, maybe that wasn’t the best idea. She’s grown progressively weaker, and has become just sort of older-seeming. (This cancer of Mom’s likes to keep us on our toes, but I much prefer the happier surprises, you know?) On Saturday, David and I had made plans to take the kids to see Mom in the afternoon and have a movie day. The kids were excited–they’d settled on Jumanji, because “cake makes me explode!”–and Mom had been looking forward to it. We went tumbling into her house around 2:15, a big bowl of freshly-popped buttered popcorn in hand, but Mom was nowhere to be seen. The house was quiet…