Notes from a funeral book on a Tuesday

DATELINE: January 5, 2020, from Lady Proverbs, somewhere on the Oregon Coast

You know those dots on the slide bars that you grab with the mouse which allow you to lower and raise volume on your computer or You Tube videos? Oh, and the ones that lighten and darken your screen or make the size of the document larger or smaller? Wouldn’t it be great if we had those for ourselves so we could better regulate our emotions? Think about it.

You could turn down your cravings with a mere touch! Good bye weight gain, right?! Turn down your anger button when you spend too much time watching the news or scrolling on social media and certain un-named politicians piss you off, big time.

What I was thinking about today, and hence this post, was how great it would be to turn down my emotion button, and specifically, of late, my extremely highly set tears button.

Generally, my tears button is set relatively low. Yeah, I cry at funerals and super sad movies and stories on tv or NPR, but my button is generally below the mid-point. Well, some mad pixie came in and turned my tears button on really high. It’s actually not surprising what-so-ever.

First, take this totally fucked up year, no need to review the details. We’ve all been living it, some faring far worse than others on the virus planet formerly called earth. Toss in political and social cruelty and destruction, parental death and dementia and spousal medical shit in my case, and there you have it. Tears setting on high and stuck there.

Having had experience at my glorious age that now covers six decades (well, whatever you call 61), I know that high emotional periods do indeed tamp themselves down over time. Yes, good old time. We have lots of sayings for it, stuff your Mom said to you, like You’ll feel better in the morning or Time heals all wounds. But it fucking hurts now! What about now!

It’s why people eat too much, drink too much, smoke too much, fill-in-the-blank too much when they hurt emotionally. Some knock themselves up with religion and faith as they define it and that becomes their version of substance abuse, breeding more abuse, as doing anything in excess tends to do. That is, bleed over into a tributary that carries the abuse to other things or other people.

So this morning I’m looking for the name of a town where The Husband and I stayed in 1985 when we visited Europe from our home in Africa, and my parents met us there from their home in Oregon. I thought that i might have the travel journal Mom wrote at the time because I took some of that stuff, which she was going to toss out, when the move to senior care was underway. Well, I didn’t find the journal, but I found the guest book to my sister’s funeral. And of course I read all the entries. And of course, the tears meter does its job and the waterworks begin.

In a moment my face is wet and my throat constrained with that feeling you get when you don’t want to make noise when you cry, e.g., bawl your head off. Half the people who were at the funeral almost 19 years ago are dead. I read my Mom’s note, written as though to my sister, and that’s when I lost it. Mom was praising all of my sister’s talents, some that others would never know about because they saw her as an over-weigh introverted middle-aged divorced woman who was a slob of the first order when it came to housekeeping. But not her mother. Her mother only saw the honorable things about her daughter: a talented painter and writer, a good mother to her daughter who she mostly raised alone, attentive to her parents and a reliable employee no matter where she worked.

There was LOVE slapping me across the face and diving into my heart and turning the tears meter up to the max. Shouldn’t there be a name for the state of feeling great love and great loss at the same time?

Yeah, but I think there already is: heartbreak.

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