Monday, March 30, 2009

Oh Dear Jesus God have Mercy

I will explain later why many families had made the last 3 weeks of my life... challenging. For now, I leave you only this:

A preamble to the photograph I mean to post about the burial.

More on that later.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The good corkscrew

This won't be one of those posts where I make an effort to make sense or hope for coherence. I just have not been available lately, even to myself, for reflection. So I am just going to start typing.

I have been lowering the amount of the heavenly sleep inducing medication that induces sleep but also causes serious metabolic problems for 8 - 9% of patients. Go ahead and infer that I am in the 8 (or 9)% of people experience serious metabolic problems due to the heavenly sleep inducing medication. To be fair, it also caused most of the other harmless but still irritating side effects, so I am certain, even if I never sleep again, that cessation of this particular (heavenly) medication is necessary.

Speaking of heaven, I am not going to get in. Lately when I do sleep, I have dreams that are definitely going to prevent my admission into anything like life after death paradise. I am not even sure they take people who have these kinds of subconscious constructions in limbo. Curious? Well, I suppose I intended to arouse curiosity. I either have raunchy, perverted, vivid and scandalous dreams about sex, or I have dreams about exacting bloody and merciless revenge on... certain people. In my defense, I will say this: aside from that one real life incident where I might have kissed that man who was (and is) in every conceivable way grossly inappropriate, I have been a perfect gentlewoman with regard to sexual behavior in real life -- for like, a huge number of years now. Five? Six? I don't count anymore. Nuns would pretty much behave the way I do, (aside from that one real life incident where I might have kissed that man who was (and is) in every conceivable way grossly inappropriate). And yet due to the perverted things I make up in my brain when I am unconscious, I am totally screwed. EXCEPT TOTALLY NOT. How is this fair? Feh.

Which brings me to this: you know you have a bad relationship with alcohol when you have two corkscrews, one of which works really well and doesn't annoy you - and another that is too sciency and doesn't work very well and annoys you consistently - and the one you really like? You keep that one on your desk. Where you spend 16 hours a day. The other one? Hell if I know. I think it is in the kitchen. Somewhere. Maybe. But boy, howdy, I know where the good corkscrew is.

And how are all of you doing? Have I told you that you are beautiful, and I love you? Have I said so lately? Let me do so now: you are beautiful and I love you. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Nina says more about death and stuff

We have just concluded the interminable living room cheese eating event that characterizes the days between the moment of death and the detailing of the body. Now we are detailing ourselves to go to the funeral parlor, which is just around the corner. And this makes me happy. And this fact, that of my happiness, I do not have to keep a secret from the People's Republic of Blogistan: Of all the death events common to most American households, my absolute favorite is the Viewing or even better, the Wake.

Those days of endless cheese calories are necessary, to be sure, but they provide only distraction, not closure.

As for funerals, I have been to my share, and the results, at least for me, are always the same. It is a public display of the mourning family members, who get to sit in the front row and try not to make complete asses of themselves while the rest of the people in the church do whatever letting go they have to do - while, of course, watching the family lest someone come totally unglued and require their laces cut. (No one ever admits that they secretly want to see at least one person lose all composure, because hey, it's the FUNERAL - the LAST GOODBYE to whomever it is everyone put on all the itchy and uncomfortable clothing for. Somebody, anybody be in pain. Show some hurt, please. Otherwise we could have stayed in our sweatpants and watched Antiques Roadshow.

No, funerals are just not good.

I like wakes. Viewings. At a funeral parlor, the deceased is actually in the room, open casket or no, and I still believe that human beings are just enough percentage of monkey to actually need to let go of the bodies of our dead. At a wake, it takes a special kind of selfishness to lose track of the point of the event: someone is dead, and that someone is not you, and though you might be missing Antiques Roadshow right now... it's not about you. And if you are having trouble not thinking about yourself, there is a dead person in the room to remind you to cut it out.

And then by the time the funeral happens, any residual letting go can and does happen, and maybe someone freaks out and requires smelling salts, which is at least sort of interesting. And then everyone goes home and wonders how long they have to wait before it is acceptable to do something normal, like go to a movie.

I saw my mother's body, and the funeral was just an afterthought -- expect that everyone was staring at me and waiting for me to wail and throw myself into the aisle and have a seizure.

I did not see my father's body. I would like to have seen it but I was not allowed to. And truth be told, by the time of his death, I had not really seen the man who raised me and was married to my mother in a very long time. My presence at my father's funeral felt more like an imposition on my step mother than anything else. I could have happily skipped it.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find funerals as useless as I do? Go ahead and disagree - I am pretty sure I am in the minority here.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Who's with us?

Instead of writing about death all. the. time... today I will write about a conversation I had with my beloved LAS about language. About words, to be more specific - and their ability to change the way people feel. We got to talking about words today because damn it, there has been a lot of dark and stormy news coming our way lately.

After some discussion we decided we would attempt to lift the gloom by banning certain words and replacing them with others. We are starting with five:

Annoy (and all related forms)
Damn it

Lame has no acceptable substitute. Suck can be iterated as "not ideal." Hate can be expressed as "do not prefer." Annoy? Inconvenient. Damnit? No acceptable substitute.

We are going to squelch the defeatist and sad making words for a few days and see if we start feeling, well, better. Feel free to join us and comment here with your results. We need more than two people to achieve anything like statistical significance.

Happy Monday, and thank you more than ever for reading.