Tag Archives: crying

A Bologna Sandwich

6 Jan

Sometimes, when you’re grieving, that’s all it takes.

Only a few days after my dad passed away, my mom made lunch for everyone. It just so happened that she was making fried bologna sandwiches, a childhood favorite of mine. If you haven’t had it, try it! It’s pretty damned good.

I put my sandwich together, held it in one hand and went to grab a plate. I looked down at it for a second, looked up at my mom and all I had to say was “This reminds me of Dad” to start to well up with tears. It’s true though, he was always the one who made them for lunch.

To stop myself from completely crying, I had to go so far as to set the sandwich down. I told me mom “The last thing I need to do is cry over a damn bologna sandwich”.

My father’s death was expected. And at least for me, it isn’t the day to day monotony that makes me sad or overwhelms me, or even talking about it – it’s the little things that unexpectedly pop up that you aren’t prepared for that upset me. A song, a trinket, a memory…a sandwich. That is really all it takes.

But I’m doing okay.

When “Alone” Doesn’t Begin to Cover It: Being the “Balanced” One

2 Dec

Over Thanksgiving, I was once again reminded of my role in the family: the balanced one. I don’t know how I got stuck with that title, but it appears I have no choice. My sister and my mother can’t seem to stand each other. One owes the other, and one can’t see that she’ll never be repaid. They are both anxious and nervous, and can’t seem to talk to one another even on the eve of my fathers death.

So Mom comes to me to cry about everything because my sister isn’t talking to her. My sister comes to me to cry about everything because she isn’t talking to my mom. No one seems to be able to remain calm but me.

Balance.

Being the balanced one means I don’t get a lot of time to be unbalanced, which sometimes I so desperately need. I have to be balanced, because if I become unhinged like everyone else, the world plummets into chaos. And I can’t handle chaos.

It’s lonely when you’re balanced.

My mother told me something on the phone the other day that I just can’t seem to shake. I know it’s true, and I know that means I’ll be alone. She told me, when talking about the grief counselor that hospice sends over once a week, that herself, my sister, and I will each need someone to be our rock on that day, and that my mom doesn’t think she will be able to do it.

I haven’t heard such a truthful statement.

And on that day, I will be the loneliest, most alone person on the planet. My mom has the grief counselor, my sister has her husband, and me…well…

I have no one.

But I’m the balanced one. And the balanced one must remain balanced, so naturally I will use logic to assess my emotions, that my emotions are valid, that death is necessary and predictable, and that having no one is a result of being balanced. Because only the balanced one can be okay without someone else to balance for them.

And on that day, I fear nothing more than my entire family becoming unhinged and estranged from one another, simply because the person who made the balanced person balance, is gone.