My mom posted a meme about grief on Facebook today. We haven’t spoken since the debacle at the capitol building on January 6th. She’s a Trump supporter, and I have so much trouble understanding why. I’ve asked her to help me understand a couple of times over the past 4 years, but she’s not interested in discussing politics with me. “I base all of my decisions on God” she offers, and this confuses me even more. For the sake of just loving my mother, I decide not to discuss it. We talk about her active life, her friends, her cleaning lady. She asks about the kids, the studio, Tom.
I texted her during the insurrection and asked if she was ok with what was happening in Washington in that moment. I was glued to the TV, distressed and heartbroken. The country I was so proud to be a part of was being ripped through, and I knew the wound would be so slow to heal.
My inquiry was met with defense, and no actual answer. I could only assume that it was ok with her. I wrote her a letter two days later. I haven’t heard back. I’ll call her in a week or so and there will likely be no mention of any of this. She will talk about her life, and ask about the kids, the studio, Tom.
My Dad was a Trump supporter too. He died from Covid in June. They had been divorced for over 20 years. When the news of Covid broke he called to tell me that it would all be over in 3 days. Witnessing his decline and death from a distance was brutal. This is my first real taste of grief, I guess. I suppose that makes me very fortunate. I am over 55. Dad knew a lot about loss, I think. He had a rough childhood, but as a man he earned his place and did as he pleased. When his body began to give him trouble, he got mad. Mad that he couldn’t do what he used to do. Mad that he couldn’t live forever. Sad, maybe, is a better word… I’m finding. The concept of it always seemed so silly to me. Yes Dad, nobody lives forever – that’s part of the package. Why get caught up pondering your demise when you have the day to be alive? Then he was gone, and so was the time he spent worrying about it. In my grief, my own words escape me, and I get… mad, or sad, maybe is a better word.
Maybe it’s not just my Dad. Covid has killed so many things that I held dear. My social system, the way I work, earn a living, celebrate, and ache… all changed. They’ve all became solo activities. I get… mad, or sad, perhaps is a better word. The world just seems heavy, and I want to put it down for a while and dance.
Yes, I think I’ll do that. I’m going to dance for a bit. Be grateful that both of my knees work again, that my desire for beauty is still strong, that I can feel the music fully in my body, that I can envision color, that I have had a good meal, and that today… today, I got to paint.
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