Chaos Attraction

It's The End Of The World...

2007-06-13, 3:18 p.m.

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So, things are weird at work. Okay, not really, but today was Blog Like It's The End Of The World Day, so that led to some entertaining things to post on the silly links blog ahead of time. The really amusing thing about it was that I could rip off real life events I wasn't allowed to speak of, slap some fictional zombies on top of it, and then talk about it. Heh heh heh.

Speaking of the dead, my coworker's mom died yesterday. Pretty much since I got here, there's always been somebody with a dying parent (I mean, besides me). He was the "last in the running," so to speak, because everyone else's parent had died off but his before then. Of late, I kept having flashbacks every time he got a phone call, especially since she went into hospice. A friend of his mom's also works in our office, and she would drive me (and my boss, and him) nuts coming over all the time to bug him about her. I couldn't always disappear for 45 minutes (she never stayed around any shorter than 45 minutes) to avoid her, so I'd end up turning my headphones up so loud they probably heard me outside.

After he filled out his leave paperwork, he came over to talk to me about things.

She'd been sick for about a year and he ended up being primary caretaker, because despite having two siblings, in my experience the entire burden will always fall on one person. He got annoyed at people who disappeared, he got annoyed at people who showed up once in a blue moon with a bowl of soup. Like me, once it was over he felt relieved. I gather she was quite the whip-cracking taskmaster on top of that, so now after all this time he finally gets to be "free." Whatever that means. I told him I'm still trying to figure that out myself.

In the event that I ever get around to writing a book about what it's like to deal with really long-term illness and "false alarm" death situations on a regular basis (I wouldn't hold my breath on me doing this, as I lost the momentum to do it around oh...January, guess why), I really should interview him for it. It is quite a different experience to have already done your grieving long before the death actually happens...and it's nice to know the occasional person who gets why you aren't weeping with sadness after it finally happens.

I recommended that he (a) try to get the funeral stuff over with as soon as he can, and (b) try to get the hell away from the family and go on a trip- possibly just drive as far away from here as he can get in a day. He liked the idea. I hope he does it. I'm vaguely pondering buying him one of those "beach in a box" novelty thingies for his return to the office, except I don't know if he's as amused by silly office toys as I am.

We also had a good time comparing "making my mom go see my shrink so the shrink can confirm that we're the sane ones in this situation" stories. Heh.

I'm glad for him that (a) it's over, and (b) in his case, it only lasted a year. On my side, I'm glad that for the most part, all of the people I know of in the last six months who were dying a long, slow, agonizing death (with the exception of my grandma, but technically she's not well, physically dead...) have well, gone. I don't feel like I can take hearing about any more tragedies any more sometimes. I'm always there for Those Who Have Been There, but other than that...I am burned out on sad situations.

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