No Apologies

I’d started to write a blog on positive thinking and how I find comfort in looking at pictures of animals and how you can write a happiness journal to cheer up and how you can re-wire your brain for more positive thinking, blah blah blah, etc., because I didn’t want to be a downer all the time. But at the same time, when grieving the loss of a parent I believe you have to honor your feelings and allow yourself to grieve. It doesn’t mean wallowing in the pain all the time but if I feel sad or irritable then I will allow myself those feelings. This blog is my online journal and if I want to vent I will do so and make no apology for it. Sometimes that’s just needed.

The thing that bothers me the most right now is that yesterday my stepfather suggested finding another wife. While I want him to be happy and feel that it’s only fair he should find another partner eventually, I didn’t find it appropriate on many levels. For one, Mom’s only been dead for two months. How he could even be thinking about another woman already is beyond me. I get that he’s lonely. I get that he hasn’t been single in over 20 years. I get that he’s older now and most of us don’t want to be alone, especially as we’re growing older. But my mother is irreplaceable. And we need to allow ourselves time to grieve before jumping into another relationship. That’s a mistake I made when I jumped from my first marriage into my second, and I still don’t know that I ever grieved the first one. I’m still grieving the second one in some ways—not in any way that suggests I want to be with the second one at all, because my current life partner is just that, and I can’t imagine, for example if he died, that I’d get into another relationship at all. Not for a very long time. If my boyfriend died, I would probably just travel the world, assuming I could somehow afford it. I might become a Buddhist nun, or I’d get an RV and drive around the country in it. I don’t know what I would do, but the one thing I would not do is jump into another relationship. Who would he find that could be as perfect for him as my mother? They had a relationship that was just right for him. My mom was unique. She was smart, sharp-witted, feisty, self-educated, magnanimous, and she gave him the kind of tough love he thrives on. And she was funny. I have never met another woman like her.

Another thing is that it’s not my business that my stepfather is thinking about meeting another woman. I don’t need to hear about it, and I don’t want to hear about it. He mentioned a new neighbor who’s only 55 (to his nearly 70), a tall blonde who sounds as creative as a Barbie doll to me. My mom on the other hand was beautiful. She had thick, wavy salt-and-pepper hair. Her brunette hair was almost black, and she had cat-eye, golden-green, olive eyes that were a color I’ve never seen in any other person I have ever met. She had olive skin, and looked like she could’ve come from Spain, Italy, or Greece. Or she could’ve been Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, or had ancestors from northern Africa. In other words, she looked interesting, unique.

More importantly, Mom had a unique personality. She was her own person. She would tell it like it is, and she didn’t care what you thought about that. That’s not an easy thing for a woman to do. It’s not easy for me to do, in spite of her being my mom. We are not brought up that way in this culture. Also, I think we are born with certain personalities and that’s just how we are. The larger culture can shape us to a certain extent, but we also just come into this world with unique personalities. This is mine, and I will not apologize for it or try to force something different even when I admire someone for being the opposite of me.

Each of us grieves in our own way, and I want to honor my stepfather’s way of mourning my mother’s loss. I know she’d want him to move on and re-marry and be happy. I know it doesn’t mean he loves her any less. I know he’d choose to have stayed with her until he died, believing he was going to die first. But it’s not easy for me to hear that he’s already thinking of re-marrying. I’m not ready yet to let go. When he re-marries, it’s unlikely I’ll see him again. My relationship to him is a tie to my mom that I don’t want to break right now. And that’s just how I feel right now.

The title of this post reminds me of “All Apologies” from Nirvana, so I’ll post that. My favorite line is this:  “In the sun I feel as one.”

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