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STAGES OF GRIEF
8 November 2014
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross says that there are fives stages of grief:
She says that sometimes these stages may overlap and sometimes you may go back to an earlier stage.
I sure hope my mother gets to "acceptance" before I leave for Iowa!
Today it was Anger. Again. WHY do I have to go when Peach has two daughters who live in Iowa. It has not registered in her brain, no matter NOW many times I tell her, that only one of her daughters will be in Iowa because one will be in California at the time, and that the other one works. All she sees is that I'm leaving her and she doesn't see the necessity of it.
It doesn't help that she has telephone numbers for everybody, including ME because she can certainly call me in Iowa just as easy as she calls me in Davis, on my cell phone. All she knows is that I won't be physically HERE and this scares her, so it makes her angry.
Today she wouldn't even make eye contact. Anger was fighting with Depression and it was difficult to see which was winning, since one seemed to fuel the other. She sat there, sunk into deep depression, looking off to the side so she didn't have to make eye contact, the eyes dead an lifeless, and vascillated between "why does it have to be you?" and "well, OK...I understand you have to go..."
I tried all sorts of conversation changes and she never even picked up on them. No matter what I said, she would respond with a heavy sigh and then "I'm old" and "what will I do while you're gone."
I had brought my iPad with me because one of my cousins had posted a picture on Facebook of the house in which my grandmother was born and I was curious about whether my mother would recognize it. At first the Atria internet was not working and I gave up trying, but when we went through a loooonnnnngggg bit of silence during which my mother sighed a lot and began to tremble a bit (because she was afraid of my leaving town), I tried it again and the internet connection did come up. So I showed her the picture and that brought her back a little. She recognized the house, but didn't know from where and when I reminded her what the house was, she smiled and said she remembered.
She read the caption under the phone, which included my grandmother's name and she kind of stroked the picture and said that she wished there had been a picture of her along with the photo of the house because she would like to see her.
I started searching through photos on Facebook and found a series of pictures of her parents, some of her siblings, and Peach when she was about 5. That brought her out of the depression and she talked about each one and how she missed them.
About then Ed (her stepson) arrived for lunch and it was as if the depression/anger switch had been turned off. All of a sudden the eyes began to sparkle, the downturned mouth gave a big smile. She was Miss Personality, Miss Sparkly, Miss Happiness again. I wish that sometimes she would be that happy to see me, instead of happy to see me because I'm the one she can complain to. I know she's happy to see me. I know she loves me. But I wish every so often she could don the fake "Mother of Earlier Days" for me once in awhile instead of the "I can tell you what's really bothering me because you're my daughter and I don't have to put on airs with you."
I am noticing that her word finding is getting worse. There are lots of words (like "washing machine") that she can't remember any more. I don't help her. I just sit patiently and wait for her to figure out what she wants to say. Usually it's "in the...the...the...uh...THING." But that's OK. She's figured a work around and didn't have to feel uncomfortable because I was giving her the words.
She told me today she's been to a couple of memory classes. I think she also has a bridge in New York to sell me (not really...but if she (a) found and (b) attended a memory class, I may faint from shock)
So I got a telephone message on my cell phone (which half the time does not ring, so I don't know there is a call) from my mother. In the message she sounded breathless and she said "Will you call me, please?" I didn't like the tone in her voice. I called her, and she couldn't remember why she'd called. I told her that was OK and that I was getting ready to call her to tell her we were leaving the house and we'd pick her up in about 5 minutes. Naturally, she didn't know why and though I've been tellng her about the show all week and we talked today about the party afterwards because it's opening night. She said she didn't want to go because she hasn't felt well all afternoon. Which was probably why she'd called me. Swell. Tomorrow is Saturday and the Davis Kaiser isn't open (and I don't know why she's not feeling well), so the soonest she could see a doctor, if she needs to see on is Monday. Does this fall under the "bargaining" stage? I HATE going off for a month when she's not feeling well.
But Walt is here and her friend Peg has agreed to go with her to any doctor appointment she may need. I'm less worried about her needing to see a doctor than I am her being sick enough to topple over and die as soon as I leave.
Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, to quote Henry Higgins again.
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