Monday, December 19, 2011


I have been caught up in a whirlwind of events and emotions over the last few months. So much so that I planned to not write about it at all. However, if I don't, I may mention these events and you'd be all "wait...huh?" So here it is.

The ShankRabbit and Isabella (and Peanut) household will be expecting a new addition in April. A boy. We had a rough first few months with morning sickness and some medical issues, but all is well now. He is doing what he's supposed to be doing and even measuring a little on the big side - lawd help me! Peanut was adamant that this baby was a girl for so long, but now she is pretty excited to have a little brother. We are still working on names. Her suggestions so far are Baby Johnson (that was originally the girl's name choice for her), Echo, and Uncle. As you can see, not much to go on so far.

My biological mother passed away unexpectedly on November 16th. There are a lot of details and stories to tell about how I got the news, coordinating a trip to North Carolina to take care of her arrangements and such, but I think I'll save all that for another time.
Is it common to cycle through the stages of grief over and over again? I think I've been through them at least twice so far. Right now I am back at the shock/disbelief stage. This happened so suddenly (cause still undetermined as it happened in her sleep) and I didn't get to see her before she was cremated. At the time I thought it would be a terrible idea as I wasn't sure what state her body was in and I thought it kind of morbid to ask the hospital "so...can I see her?" Do I really want my last memory of my mom to be in that state?
My mom's boyfriend and her brother were there the morning she was taken to the hospital, so there is no question as to identification, but still there is just a part of me that thinks, "maybe this is just some elaborate hoax to get me to pay for someone else's funeral arrangements and my mom is fine and well somewhere else." I feel like there is no resolution. Her ashes are sitting on a bookshelf in my house. Shouldn't that be enough? Will I ever feel like she is truly gone?

My mom and I weren't terribly close. I was placed in state care/foster care at the age of 11, so I didn't get the chance to really spend most of my childhood with her. However, she was my mom. I loved her. And I know she loved me too, but never could show it as much as any other person. Still, I felt it.

She was never good at calling (heck, neither was I to be honest), so communication over the years was limited. When her husband had a heart attack in 2006, I made the trip down there to be with her. He passed a couple days after I arrived and I assisted her with arrangements. Although they were unfortunate circumstances, my mom and I got a new opportunity at our relationship. We still didn't talk as often as most mothers and daughters do I'm sure, but this is what worked for her. And that worked for me.

We kept in contact mostly through email and I sent her many pictures of her granddaughter (one she had never met). I told her about our soon-to-be new addition. She seemed to be doing well, aside from "not feeling well for a while, but doing better." In mom-speak that could mean anything from a cold to something more serious. Knowing this, I asked for her phone number so I could get the straight answer from her. I never got the chance to call her.

* * *

So, here I sit. Wondering what is next in this process. My husband and I have lost 5 family members this year alone. Am I emotionally jaded because of that? Am I holding out on properly grieving until a later date? I have no clue. All I know is that I'm trying to live in the joy of my family and there are these feelings still tugging at my heart. But they aren't coming out.


Call Me Cate said...

Sounds like 2011 has been a tough year for you. Your mother's passing sounds especially difficult. I hope you find a way to feel the closure you're currently missing.

Melinda (Sew-Lin) said...

I'm so sorry that you have known such loss this year. Sending you all the support and love I have.

C. Beth said...

I'm so sorry, Jennifer. It must be SO tough to handle the multiple losses. I dread the day when my older family members start to pass.

But I'm really excited about your growing family. <3 :)

Momo Fali said...

Hugs to you. I'm so sorry for this emotional roller coaster you have been riding on, but I'm happy to hear about the new addition!