The only thing I did on my lone bereavement day was sleep in, then go get dinner and stop at the mall with Paul–a funeral was not a great time to discover that my waterproof eyeliner was running low and could give one eye a nice, crisp line but would leave the other looking, well, the way a pen does when it’s running out of ink.

There was also some confusion at work about it, as I had talked to my boss in person but hadn’t sent out an e-mail to the other supervisors about taking the day.

The aftermath of Pap Pap’s death was kind of strange, really. When my mom’s parents died, each time, their absence was noticeable. I mourned both of them and still do miss them, and it changed things. First, we had to adjust to holidays without Pap Pap and picking up Grandma for church instead of seeing her and Pap Pap already in their usual pew, and then when Grandma died, it changed that whole weekly routine a second time, and then we did things like sell the house and take her car. But because Pap Pap Moe, as I used to call him, was on the other of the state and he was what Terra put as politely as possible in calling him “a character,” I didn’t have those routines and the bond with him that I think I had with my mom’s parents. We weren’t close in terms of proximity or relationship, and since I had no regular interaction with him, it was almost like being detached from the mourning process entirely–it was like I traveled across the state for the funeral and then came home to everyday life like nothing had happened. It’s weird, and it’s completely different from the way things were with my mom’s parents. On the one hand, it’s not as hard on me as those were, and yet it feels a little surreal and even uneventful, and not just because of my reaction but because of the way my dad and uncles have handled it, too. Maybe it’s because they were all much younger when they lost their mother, even, I don’t know, but this death feels much less like a big, life-changing event for the family and more like just a thing that happened. And I don’t really know what to make of that. Part of me feels like I should have a stronger opinion, like I should care more or something, but part of me also knows that for one, there’s no right way to handle these things and that on top of that, this all makes sense, given the circumstances.

I did regret only taking one bereavement day. I believe I said on Twitter something along the lines of I was doing okay but funerals fucking suck–I was still sad. And traveling makes me tired and sometimes being sad makes me tired, and I was doing both, so I was sufficiently worn out by the time I got home. I only took one bereavement day because I knew I wouldn’t really need the time for travel or to mourn, at least not in the conventional sense, but I regretted it because I needed more down time. Mom and I talked about wanting to get into a bubble bath with a big glass of wine.

The world spins madly on, as the song goes, and by that Tuesday, it was back to work and daily life. I’ve still been going to the gym but indulging on occasion–we went to dinner right in town for St. Patrick’s Day and went to Rita’s on opening day for free ice but ended up leaving instead with fancy things packed with chunks of brownies.

And Terra’s quest to get her driver’s license continues and is becoming something of a saga, not because she’s a bad driver or anything but because it’s unnecessarily complicated.


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