Thursday, May 11, 2023

Fire And Rain ...


Was reminded of this song, this morning.  I always liked it, but used to think it was overplayed.

But I guess you don't really get it until it happens, like this  - so fast, when you had literally just talked to them, making plans for the future.

JT knew exactly what this felt like. And Marian, too, always used to say "Sweet dreams," when ending a conversation at night :(

"Fire and Rain" - James Taylor  


Just yesterday mornin', they let me know you were gone
(Marian), the plans they made put an end to you

I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
... but I always thought that I'd see you again ...

Won't you look down upon me, Jesus?
You've got to help me make a stand
You've just got to see me through another day
My body's aching and my time is at hand
And I won't make it any other way

Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
... but I always thought that I'd see you again ...

Been walking my mind to an easy time
My back turned towards the sun
Lord knows, when the cold wind blows
It'll turn your head around

Well, there's hours of time on the telephone line
To talk about things to come
"Sweet dreams" and flying machines in pieces on the ground

Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
 ...but I always thought that I'd see you, baby ...o
ne more time again, now ...

... thought I'd see you one more time again
There's just a few things coming my way this time around, now
Thought I'd see you ... thought I'd see you, fire and rain, now


PS -  I just added the below conversation with my mom here, my actual biological mom, this morning at about 9:45, after I'd published this post. However, after I added it, I later removed a bit that I'd written, because I remembered that if you wake my mom up and try to have a conversation with her, it does not go well, she gets especially snappy lol.  I'd forgotten that, since we'd been estranged for years.  So in my mom's defense, I HAD woken her up lol.

Regardless, our conversation went like this ... 

Me:  "So ... are you still like, thinking you're done crying, even laughing about something, but then something will remind you of her again and you cry again? Because I am. I don't know if that's normal."

"I also can't stop thinking about that drunk driver.  How someone as wonderful and selfless and Marian was killed, but the drunk driver that killed her literally walked away with barely a scratch.  He'll get 3 to 5 years in prison at most, out in a year with good behavior.  That happens so often, I just don't understand.  I guess he's sick and addicted and suffers in a way, but he walked away with barely a scratch and she's dying.  How do you reconcile that, because I can't?"


Mom:  "Chrystal, you need to let that go, let it go, now! You're going to have to, at some point. Sometimes we just don't know why and have to accept that God has his plan.  Just focus on her being with Jesus.  And no, I'm not crying anymore.  I just want to focus on how happy she is with Jesus now."


Me:   "Oh ... kay.  Um - I'm not obsessed with it, in fact, I don't think I've mentioned it to you before. I guess I'm just trying to make sense of it still.  I mean, we just found out the night before last? But I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you."

" I think maybe for me, the 5 stages of grief aren't linear, I hop back and forth.  One minute it feels so unreal, like this can't be true, and if it is, maybe her brain will heal itself and she'll snap out of that coma before they remove the life support today, even though I know that's ridiculous." 

"Then the next, I'm bargaining with God, 'Just answer this one prayer at least for me, just perform this one miracle, and I'll never ask for anything again - please?  If anyone deserves a miracle, she does."

"The next, I'm trying to figure out why, and I'm mad - not necessarily at anyone in particular, just - mad.  Sometimes it's myself for ever once getting frustrated with her, or for not telling her every day how much I loved and appreciated her.  I think I did show her appreciate many times, but I wonder, was it enough? Did she truly know how much I loved her?" 

"Other times, I'm mad at the drunk driver, and then other times, anyone I know who mistreated her - and yes, sometimes with God. I mean, if God can't handle our questions and anger, then I don't know what I think about him." 

  "I think it's because anger feels less powerless than sadness, it gives you the illusion of control, when you actually have none." 

"Then the next I think I've accepted it, laughing about the good memories of her, watching old episodes of "Friends" to laugh. 

"Then something reminds me of her and I start crying again, go through those feelings again." 

"Have you or are you going through any of that? 


Mom:  "Everybody's different, I guess,  but no - I need to think about her happy in heaven. I have to."


Me:  "Okay, then, I have work to do anyway, I gotta get it together.   I'm weird, I guess, you know this lol.  I guess I'm not ready to let it go yet, I'm not ready to let HER go yet." 

"I mean, we just found out the night before last. I like to think she's happy and not in pain anymore, too, but at the same time, I guess I'm not ready to give her over to Jesus, just yet, and wish she was here still." 

"But I am sorry if I upset you with it. I think I woke you, too, I'm sorry.  Go back to sleep and rest now then.  I have work, anyway, I need to get it together anyway.  I love you."


Mom: "I'm not trying to make you feel bad, I just can't  go there, and yeah, you woke me up, but it's okay.  I need to focus on her dancing and singing in heaven with Jesus, that's just my way.  I love you too."


See, that's where Marian stepped in and filled in those gaps.  She loved Jesus, too, but was a bit more grounded in reality.  Marian would cry with you, just because you were sad at any time, day or night  :(

And this would also be why I hate going to funerals even more than most people, especially Southern ones.  

They're supposed to be times you can share good memories and laugh AND console each other when sad, but all anyone says to you is "You should be happy she's with Jesus now."

Well, guess what? Maybe I should be, but I'm not.  

I AM happy for her, she's no longer in pain, sure -  but at the same time, I'd give still give anything to have her here with us.  Guess I'm selfish like that.  

Grief suuccccks - and yet here in America, we have McFunerals. You get three days off from work, but you're generally frowned upon if you use all three of them.

And we all have to put on brave faces and act somber, but not sad.  You can tear up and dab your eyes, but you can't openly cry.  I swear, I think even funerals in the UK are less austere. 

Then you're supposed to have everyone back at your house afterwards, and though people bring you food, the family of the deceased are still expected to play host to serve the food and entertain you?  It's inconsiderate, ridiculous, and exhausting.

And you have to laugh and tell only funny stories, nothing too sad or serious, and again, absolutely no crying, no resting in the other room, no "Can I have a minute?" - nope, none of that, or you'll get called a drama queen or king.

People play cards and watch ball games, turn on music and dance, as if it's Thanksgiving or a true party, and the women still serve the food and drink  - even if it's her family member that died.  

And nobody helps clean up later -  that's up to the women of the deceased's family too.

And let's not even talk about the gossip that goes on at these things, and lack of mercy, especially in the South - it's just shameful. 

I guess you're supposed to be celebrating them and their lives or something, which is okay, but it's a bit too soon for actual partying, IMO - and sometimes I've even seen them turn into partying just for party sake, disrespectfully treating it like a house party.

In fact, they don't even call them funeral homes anymore, they call them "Life Celebration Centers," and the person can even plan their "life celebration" and insists that no one cries and that you dance and celebrate them.  

Sometimes they even choose a song for everybody to have to dance to, and even professional dancers are hired, dressed in poodle skirts and leather jackets to do the jitterbug or whatever.

Okay ... so I get it, that you want people to celebrate you and your life, but I'll be damned if anyone tells me how I'm supposed to feel about you dying. 

 If I feel like dancing,  maybe I will, maybe I won't - but if I do, I might cry while I'm doing it.  In fact, I'll probably laugh AND cry at the same time.  

Because like Dolly Parton said in Steel Magnolias, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion."

Amen, Dolly - and if Dolly said it, it's gospel, in my world :)

I think New Orleans funerals have it maybe the closest to balanced - you spend the first part of the funeral walk to the cemetery crying and in mourning, but the second half, waving your handkerchief at them in heaven, dancing/celebrating they're no longer in pain

I mean, at least you allow that grief publicly first before you celebrate?

But no, everywhere else in America, you're supposed to entirely hide the fact that you actually feel sad that the person died, and it doesn't make any sense. 

It's like there's a time limit on grief, when in my experience, grief comes up whenever the heck it feels like it, and if you stuff it and  say you're over it, acting like you're tough - that is the surest way to ensure that grief will  come back up and bite you in the arse later, at the most inappropriate and inconvenient of times, like at work, two years later, when someone wore the same perfume or cologne or something, and suddenly, you're a blubbering idiot.

It's just weird to me, and it makes the process more exhausting than it already is, and it isn't at all comforting -  and then you go right back to work the next day, though you haven't slept the last three, it's nuts.

When I die, people can gather, and they can either bring food or order a pizza, I don't care, but I will mandate that if they do bring the food, they help serve it, too, and help clean up afterwards - regardless of whether they have a vagina or a penis! 

And people can feel however they want to feel and do whatever they want to do, and not judge anyone else for NOT doing the same thing - laugh, cry, dance, nap, throw darts at my picture, curl up in the fetal position in a ball, I don't care, it's all good lol  

There are no rules except as I said, if you bring food, you serve it, too, and you help clean up afterwards, regardless of your gender - and I'm adding that you can't gossip about anyone else present OR fight - be kind to each other and don't judge :)

But just as I wrote that about "no time limit on grief," I just remembered something my boss said that I need to thank her for again, on that note.

Though back at work today, for the first time in four years, I asked for a full day off yesterday, without asking for it advance.  I've worked when sick, etc., so only for Marian, would I do that. 

You know what my boss said? 

"Take your time, no rush. There's no time limit on grief."

God bless her for that - I think I literally have the best boss in the world :)

Well, regardless, I DO think about Marian being happy now, too, and I do believe that I will see her again.

I don't know where she is, exactly, but the first law of thermodynamics/law of conservation says energy cannot be created or destroyed, energy can only transfer.

I don't know where our conscious energy transfers to, but for now, it lingers with me ... and like JT, I just wish I could see her one more time again in this life - and I always thought I would :(

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