Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stages of Recovery

Well mom has flown home. Back to her home in Georgia. And we have entered the first out of three stages of recovery. They are as follows:

Stage 1 - Decompression
This is the stage where each member of our family puts on their comfort clothing - old sweat pants, pajamas, robe, favorite jeans, etc - and retreats to a quiet spot in the house to do something they find enjoyable and relaxing. At the moment, Son16 is upstairs watching TV in our bedroom, Son19 is watching TV in his room, Daughter13 is watching TV in the family room, my wife is in the office on one computer listening to her favorite podcasts, and I'm hiding out with the laptop writing. This stage allows us to bleed off the anxiety and tension and can last from one evening to as much as three or four evenings, depending on the needs of each individual.

Stage 2 - Debriefing
This stage is most notable for the numerous instances where one member of the family approaches another, looks confused, and then utters the phrase "Did she really say (insert bizarre comment here)? What the hell was that?!?!" This is a real healing stage. During my mom's never ending monologue, so many freakish comments and stories poured forth. But in that particular moment, we were trying so hard to appear interested while really meditating on the dust bunny in the corner, that only now do we begin to comprehend some of what was said. And the healing comes in knowing others heard it too...that it is not a stroke-induced memory caused by the pressure of so many words pounding against our brains.

Stage 3 - Celebrating
My good friend, LD, asked today if we would celebrate now that mom was gone. Eventually. But these things must be done in the proper order. If the family went out to dinner tonight, we would sit and mutter while pushing the food around on the plate with our forks. Not until we've passed the healing of Stage 2 can we really move on to the celebration of having our life back to normal. Well, we may not be normal, but we like what we have. And it will be good to get back to that.

5 comments:

Winston said...

Excellent!

I think you have defined for all of us the reactions and aftershocks we feel after one of those wonderfully brief visits by those we love. Those who do not live with us, but rather, have their own planet out there somewhere...

Jazz said...

LOL.

What Winston said...

This whole thing has made me think that Xmas is coming and i'll be spending entirely too much time with family - both mine and Mr. Jazz's. *sigh*

Good God, it just struck me! You think we're someone else's annoying relative? Or soon to be? Someone shoot me now...

Jill said...

Omigod, I never thought about what Jazz said. I wonder if relatives have to decompress after a visit from us?? Nooooo, that couldn't possibly be......the very idea is just too appalling.

Em said...

Jazz and Jill - rest easy! There is just now way we could be, as Winston says, from our own planet. We are all just too amazing and witty and smart to be the annoying relative. In fact, when most people dream about the perfect relative, they probably have visions of one of us. ;)

Carmi said...

Oh man, what an experience. I feel for you, I really do. I also admire your courage in sharing it as you have. I'd likely have committed matricide by now.

Popped by from Michele, but she doesn't always send me. I'm usually here on my own.