Sunday, September 29, 2013

The End

I realize it has been a little Sturm und Drang around here lately, but when life plays you a dirge the only thing you can really do is slow dance to it. Which is what I've been doing, even though my feet are tired and I honest-to-god feel dehydrated from crying.

Saturday was my mom's memorial, and I sobbed through my eulogy and pretty much any time someone so much as looked at me. Still, I think we did her proud.
We drank Cheerwine and ate pulled pork, hush puppies and creamed corn, listened to Mississippi John Hurt and David Bowie and told stories about what a force she was.
After the memorial, Bryan and I went to the pet ER where Nacho has been since Thursday. He was not getting better, and had such significant brain damage that the vets gave him a 10% chance of any recovery, so we held his floppy body and told him what a kick ass cat he was, that we loved him, and then we kissed him goodbye as the vet put him to sleep.

Then today my dad, my brother and his wife came over and we decorated boxes for my mom's ashes. The gaudier, the glitterier the better. My mom was a maximalist who believed that more is more. Then add a little bit more.
Tomorrow is Monday, and not to get all sloppy sappy shut up, but I am going to start thinking of my mom and Nacho not in sadness but in gratitude. I am so incredibly lucky to have had such an amazing mom for as long as I did, and to have had such a sweet little fur baby like my Nacho. Not to deny my grief, but I do believe you have a choice in how you react, and I am going to make an effort to react in joy.

Which reminds me--when my mom was really sick, disoriented and could barely speak, my brother asked her if there was anything she wanted to tell him, and all she said was kindness. I don't know if that meant that she wanted us to remember her for her kindness or that we should act in kindness, but maybe it doesn't matter. The word itself is all that matters. Kindness. Such a simple word, not fancy at all (nothing like Sturm und Drang), but I think I am going to make that word my mantra. It can mean so many things.

On that note, I also want to thank all of you. For your comments and emails...even if you didn't reach out but just took a moment to think about me and my family. Thank you.

I'm turning the dirge off now. Anyone have a new song I can dance to?



Cathi said...

Susannah - it sounds like a wonderful memorial for your mom and the boxes your family decorated are fabulous! You definitely did her proud. I'm so sorry to hear about Nacho - my heart goes out to you all. Remembering loved ones with gratitude and love is such a tribute to them. Sharing their life and stories that make you smile, laugh and cry. Your mom is absolutely right about kindness. One of my favorite quotes: " kindness is my religion" Your mom is smiling right now, so proud of you and your family. xxoo

Michelle M in KY said...


I have this...
"Don't cry because it's over
Smile because it happened."
- Dr. Suess
This is my new mantra, maybe it can be yours too! And a song I particularly love (again) right now is That Girl is on Fire by Alicia Keys. Hugs & Prayers & KINDNESS to you my friend!

Allison C said...

I am so sorry for your loss. What an amazing woman your mom was, and what a wonderful daughter you are.

You might have already seen this, but I was reminded of George Saunders graduation address, which was really all about kindness.

I hope this link works, it's quite beautiful:

Hugs to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Through your blog, it's clear you are quite a force yourself, Susannah. You were lucky to have your mom. And your kids are so lucky to have you. Keep paying the kindness forward. -- Marla L.

Bearden 365 said...

Of all your recent writings, this is the one that made me sob. I sure can't explain that, but it must be something about seeing the power in perseverance. Choosing your reaction, such a simple but powerful choice. I think I'll do something extra kind today, in honor of Grandma Glitter.

joanneinjax said...

Dear beautiful girl,
I was one of those that checked in regularly, but did not comment, as no words would suffice. You are your beautiful mother's legacy, as are your wonderful children. Be grateful for the delightful spirit she instilled in you that you will certainly pass to your children.
It has been almost a decade since my mother passed, and I sometimes still reach for the phone to tell/ask about something. She already knows, somehow she never left me.
My eldest nephew just had a daughter and named her after my mother. I'm sure she is beaming somewhere above, even though she wasn't that fond of her name. A confidence that she only shared with me, and I would never ever mention to my nephew.
The circle of life. You are carrying that proud flag for your lovely mom.

Sharon M said...

I'm so sorry for your losses, Susannah. It sounds like your mom was a pretty fabulous person and I have no doubt your family will keep Grandma Glitter's memory alive.

There will be days when the emotion takes over... let them happen, then let them go. From experience (my family is all gone now, for many years, and last night a song made me cry over my brother's death).

I'm sorry about Nacho, too. My two cats are 12 and 14, respectively, and I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to them.

Gretchen said...

Thank you for sharing her with us. If I could drink a Cheerwine right now, I'd raise it to you, to her.

Leslie Harris said...

Be grateful. Be sad. Be whatever. Just don't feel like your have to fake it. Especially here.
The kindest words I can offer you is the encouragement to just be yourself, dirges and all.

brenaugusta said...

"Oh Susannah don't you cry for me." just came to my mind. I'm sending you my deepest sympathy and I hope your days continue to get brighter. I like your interpretation about kindness and I know you will get through this ok especially with your humorous view of life. Your mom sounds like a beautiful wonderous soul. Thanks for letting me laugh and cry with you through your great writing.

Sarahviz said...

Thinking of you, my dear, from my little corner of the internet. Hugs. And Kindness.

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