Right, so, remember a few weeks ago when I talked about life being a dumpster fire?
A little over a year ago, my mom was diagnosed with leukemia. She spent about two months in the hospital, and another few weeks in a facility to help with physical therapy but was home by Christmas. She’d go for monthly blood tests and was given the all clear a few months ago.
Then, about two weeks after our wedding, my dad called to say her cancer was back and she was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic. She had some tough days while in there, but it finally looked like things were starting to move in a more positive direction. Then last Tuesday my dad called and said she was having a really, really bad night and we should come to the hospital.
Very early Wednesday morning, my mom passed away.
Hence the whole dumpster fire thing I’ve been dealing with as of late.
This is also complicated by the fact that I’m an INTJ which means I’m not emotional. Certainly not openly.
I mean, I have feelings. I’m just not someone who broadcasts them in public. Trouble is, I come from a family who are very comfortable broadcasting their emotions in public and are mourning a woman they all had a super positive relationship with. I know that she was a wonderful aunt, sister-in-law, grandma, all of that. She was also a good mom, don’t get me wrong, and she and my sister were super close. I just had a different relationship with her.
My family are also huggers which, y’know cool, except when hugs are triggering your flight-or-fight response and giving you panic attacks and, fun fact, when your mom dies apparently everyone in the entire world wants to give you a hug.
So there we are in the hospital at 4 a.m. and my family is all hugging and crying and I’m the seemingly cold, unfeeling oldest daughter hovering in a corner far away from everyone else.
Plus I have that whole sarcasm-as-defense-mechanism thing which always comes out looking great to outsiders.
(My poor therapist these days lol)
The other thing about being an INTJ is that logical, rational, analytical side. When she was first diagnosed, I did a lot of research (hi, also a librarian). I knew her long-term survival rate was low. I’m not religious, so I never had this optimistic hope that with enough praying, God would work some miracle. Instead, I admittedly did a lot of my grieving a year ago, knowing there was a good chance she wasn’t going to make it.
I realize that may sound terrible, but the thing about being a natural pessimist is I always plan and prepare for the worst, that way I’m not surprised when the worst happens. In this case, a year ago, the worst didn’t happen and I got a bonus year with my mom. So that certainly counts for something.