I haven't felt like writing or blogging. There's been a death in the family, my father-in-law -- not unexpected. He was ninety and suffered from advanced stage Alzheimer's, severe anemia, heart problems, gout, high blood pressure, mobility problems, incontinence, and ... stubbornness. For the last eight years doctors told us he was on his way out, that he had just months to live. Three heart attacks in 2007. Two stays at the geriatric psych ward. Weekly falls. Monthly trips to the emergency room for this and that. "You'll have to drive a stake through his heart," a friend of my husband's once said. Which is why it was such a shock when, on Tuesday morning, he suddenly died.
There are times when writing about family material, the trauma and the drama, feels too removed. It's the same sensation I have when somebody asks me to take pictures at a party to document the goings-on. I hate it. Looking at the scene through a viewfinder takes me out of the action; I'm no longer in it. In the same way, writing too closely about an intense life situation while it's going on removes me too.
Most of the time I need to process life through words on paper, pixels on the computer screen. And sure, I'm filing all this away in my brain (the utter deadness of his newly dead body, the yellow undertones of his white skin; the feel of his Air Force officer's dress uniform as I folded it into a box to be FedExed to the funeral home so he can wear it in his casket). But I don't want to write it down now. Sometimes I don't want to be an observer of life as I live it.
I just want to live it.