A week after my official diagnosis my mother-in-law passed away. While not unexpected (she was 90) it was rather quick. Complications in treating a medical condition due to pre-existing medical conditions and medications.
So, processing dealing with being autistic (a good thing, just a very different thing), dealing with my own grief, supporting my husband dealing with his grief (there is no grief like losing your mother, no matter anyone’s age) and supporting my interstate daughter with her grief at losing her last grandmother. Throw in a pandemic and rapidly changing border restrictions (and living on one of those borders) and you should be able to understand why blogging hasn’t been high on my to do list.
So much processing. Wanting to curl into myself and hide. Trying to be there for the people who are more important to me than myself (even if I’m not good at showing it). Wanting to cry but not wanting to be messy emotional. Knowing I need to be emotional to help process everything. Like I told my husband, its like gastro, you know you will feel better if you throw up but the process of throwing up is so disgusting that you put it off as long as you can.
And now the long process of putting our lives back together with a hole in it. The pandemic makes some of that harder and some of it easier. Some more of the reality will hit when restrictions can ease again and the things we used to do will no longer be done because of her absence, not because of the rules.
I couldn’t have asked for a better mother-in-law. She accepted me. She never interfered. She loved my daughter, her youngest grandchild. There is something special about being the youngest, when the others move away and there is time for appreciation of what will be lost in the near future. I think we lived far enough away for visits to be special, but close enough for them not be to infrequent.
I love her son with all my heart. She raised a beautiful man. I thank her for the privilege of having both of them in my life.
I believe she was autistic. So many things in her life are clues, her last days no different. She died on her terms. A declarations of ‘I’m sick of this shit’ a reference to her health battles in the last few years and her last battle that she could not win and acknowledgement that the fight would be futile.
I don’t think I truly appreciate just how much I will miss her. She was always quiet, in the background. There if you needed her but not interfering. Very intelligent, very caring, just a little bit sarcastic (she had no idea where her children got that from, until the next sentence out of her own mouth) She loved to get presents, folding the paper meticulously to be used again. She liked to go out to the club for the pokies and the bingo. She loved to people watch but didn’t want to talk to the people because she didn’t want to know their problems. She loved her garden, her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.
You are not gone until the ripples your life created have passed and stilled.
May your ripples never cease.