Messed Up

Susan’s health is heading downhill pretty quickly now. She sleeps about 22 hours a day, waking mostly to ask for a little water to wet her mouth. The things she says sometimes make sense, but often they don’t. And a lot of the time, even when her eyes are open, she doesn’t respond to or look at me when I talk.

I know she doesn’t have long. I’ve known and expected this for years. But now that we’re getting close, I am afraid and overwhelmed and unprepared. Even for short-term things, there is so much I don’t know how to do.

School starts soon; the timing couldn’t be more awful. How do I make this easier for the kids? I haven’t chosen a mortuary or cemetery; I don’t know how and I don’t want to know how. I’m terrified of making calls and can’t stand the thought of comparison shopping. I hate being taken advantage of, but the thought of trying to be a savvy consumer right now makes me ill.

And my self-control is tenuous. Yesterday I tore into my 13-year-old about how since the cat is theoretically his, how come I — the one person in the family who vocally said he did not want a cat — am having to feed and clean up after the stupid thing? This conversation isn’t new, but I brought some fresh energy into it, and I did it unprovoked — totally blindsided the kid.

And there’s more, which I just spent about 45 minutes writing and then deleted, because I read it and found myself not liking the guy who wrote it.

So here’s the short version.

I am a mess, I am angry, and I am lonely. And I am ashamed that I am, right now, worrying about myself instead of the people who need me.

Basically, right now I’m exactly the kind of person I try to avoid.

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