THANK YOU kind, invisible people who live in the Internet!

On June 5, 2009 by Eden M. Kennedy

It was kind of unfair for me to leave the big My Mom Is Dead post at the top of the page for so long, perhaps giving you the impression that I was too grief-stricken to lift the lid of my laptop and post my thanks to everyone who left their best wishes here.

I’m actually feeling pretty good. Really, amazingly good. For me, it seems like the first parent death kind of cleared the neural pathway for the second parent death to process a little more smoothly. In fact, I was so very mentally prepared for my mother to go that it was a total surprise how much I felt it physically. My body felt, and still feels, somewhat sore. If someone dies and takes a little part of you with them, then I’m missing a rib, I think, or some organ I can function without, but still feel the loss of. More appendix than kidney, I think — my mother and I weren’t kidney-close. But she was a part of me all the same.

I’ve got a couple of big-ass projects cooking and I am so pleased to tell you about the first of them right now, if you haven’t heard already, which is how you, and me, and an unspecified number of attractive people are all going to read David Foster Wallace’s Infinte Jest together this summer. It’s totally a thing we’re doing! Due to the fact that I’ve agreed to post my thoughts on what I’ve read on a weekly basis, I’m probably going to get past page 130 this time.

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26 Responses to “THANK YOU kind, invisible people who live in the Internet!”

  • So glad to hear you are coping well. I kept checking your blog to see if there were any updates. You are in my thoughts, best wishes to you always.

  • I'm so glad you posted about this! I have had plans for the past five months to start reading IJ on June 24th, after I take my Boards. So, this grouping of people doing the same thing feels pretty amazing.

  • I have tried to read that book 5 times. I finally sold it to the used book store. Good luck!

  • I wondered whether the second parent was "easier" or "harder." I'm glad it's tending toward the former. It was expected, so in a way it's a release. But that's probably not the right way to say it.

  • So good to hear you back. I kept coming back to "Threes" intending to write something meaningful and supportive, but couldn't come up with anything that didn't sound trite coming out of my mouth. Er, keyboard. And so I slunk away each time. Sorry I'm such a wimp! (since everything is always about me, isn't it?)

    Speaking of being a wimp, I am most definitely not reading "Infinite Jest" this summer. But I'll cheer you on heartily. Especially if you write to us all about it!

  • Hoo hoo, I remember it well. My mom was the first to die, 6 yrs ago. I remember telling a friend "wow, after this, my dad's death is going to be–" {snap} "–a walk in the park." When he did die (3 yrs almost), it wasn't quite that easy, but I was more easily braced for the shock. I feel for you, fellow orphan!

    Becky of Hamblog, Ventura

  • It may be hard to believe, but if you can hang in there to page 300 the rest of the book flies by too fast. It took me months to get to 300, but I read the rest over a single weekend. Two friends told me the same thing, but I didn't believe them.

  • I felt the same way when my beloved aunt/friend died. I had done most of my grieving while she was alive and fortunately got to spend the time with her before she passed.

  • Like everybody else, I was also concerned, so thank you for giving us an update. It is so strange how emotional events can affect us physically.

    I'm currently trying to get through David Wroblewski's book, The Life of Edgar Sawtelle. It's long and weighty, and I'm afraid my experience will be the same as my experience of Anna Karenina: I kept reading and re-reading the opening paragraphy, which is brilliant, and never got any further. Maybe someday…..

  • I'm glad to hear you are back and doing well. I'm sorry about your mom but hope you and your brothers can continue grieving in the way each of you needs to.

  • my condolences on the passing of your surviving parent. my mother died two years ago – i still can't believe it in my head – and it's been very hard to think of my daddy being gone, too. i hate it. i imagine it will be very hard losing my last parent. i am so glad i still have one parent on this earth.

    so on to infinite jest. i am SO in. i joined the Facebook group, and bought the thing with my own money today. like you, i got to about page 100 a couple of years ago and abandoned it. i wrote an Infinite Jest post on my own blog to hopefully get some commitments from some people that i "know" so we can either enjoy it or suffer together. really, with the weekly commentary and a mere 75 page commitment, i am going to do it! it's a great idea and the book, it's overwhelming but awesome too. it's a lot to take all at once to spreading it out over an entire season is definitely do-able.

    i'll look forward to your discussion posts. i think i'll talk it upit in our online skirt! edition in jacksonville where i just got a gig, blogging.

    i'm finitely excited about doing this with the online community! why not? it's where I live, mostly.

  • I had issues with my mother, too. She was in the hospital for 8 mos before she died. Hooked up to a ventilator. I hadn't heard her voice in 8 months. When she did die I was confused because I didn't feel any loss — then I realized I'd lost her all those months before — when we could no longer talk about nothing for hours…

  • Sorry to hear about your mom. Even when it it isn't as hard as it can be it still totally sucks.

    When my mom died I went straight into fierce worrying about dad mode and I spent the next few months in some kind of strange cocktail of shock, anxiety and disbelief. When my dad died 8 months after my mom I just knew what to expect minus the worrying part, and was able to accept it much easier and start to move through the grieving process with much more grace and sanity.

  • I am so using that "we weren't kidney close" thing. There are a few people in my life who I'm not even lung close with.

    I just had to tell you that I don't think I'll ever look at green dish soap the same way. That kind of stuck with me.

  • I just finished "Infinite Jest" a few months ago. For me, it was a battle to get past page 200; but once I did, it changed my life! One of the most engaging and challenging books I've ever read. Trust me, the more of it you read; the more sense it starts to make!

  • Glad to have you back. I've been a little worried. J

  • Glad to hear you're doing well.
    I own Infinite Jest, but haven't finished it. Thanks to Rebecca and Deanna's comments, perhaps I'll give it another go.

  • Just had a sermon at our UU church on a David Foster Wallace commencement address (how we're the center of our universe, and isn't it weird that other people feel that way too?)

    I'm in on Infinite Jest. If it lives up to the hype, at least I'll only have to shell out the cash for(or borrow from the lib) one book this summer.

    Sorry to hear about your mother. My sister's husband suffers from dementia – it is such a hard, draining, and scary road for the loved ones of the sufferers. Just wanted to let you know that you're in my thoughts and I hope that your brother is doing well.

  • I am experiencing loss and that was what I wrote. A missing thing in my chest.

  • 'More appendix than kidney' HAHAAHahaaha!!! too true.

    I got a wierd physical sensation while my mom was dying. Felt like everything that was her was in a blender and whirling and whirling around and descending into my stomach in a way I've never felt anything feel. I sensed that she was very frightened. I tried my best to think toward her (I wasn't physically there with her) but it did little good. Finally, I just had to disengage. I went out for something to eat, unable to think straight about anything more, and I saw a rising moon. At that moment, I felt she was at peace. And knew she was gone. Really strange all that. The good of it is, I can now recall the best of her rather than the worst.

  • Sorry about your mom but I'm glad that you're able to deal with it well.

  • It takes a village to read DFW? Maybe. It's been sitting on my shelf for years; I never made it past page 20 or so, but maybe with the support of a group…I'm encouraged by Rebecca's comment about fighting your way through to page 300, then flying the rest of the way…

  • So glad to hear you are well. My beloved dog died today. Ugh ….pet or parent, it's very hard. I got my copy of IJ today at teh local library…it's SO BIG. wtf?

  • The things one misses when one stops blogging for a while. I am so very sorry for your loss… but so glad to see how well you're doing. All the best to you.

  • Oh you. YOU. Why do you get me involved in so many things. Nablopomo (or so). And now this! I'll have to look into it. (oooh, noncommittal sneeks in.)

    Glad you posted. Still sending supportive thoughts your way.

  • Hope you are finding your way with peace in these days after your mom's passing.