Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Right Thing?

So I canceled my classes (not the thing I'm questioning the rightness of, by the way - that was totally the right thing, but for whatever the reason it just took me a while to bite the bullet and do it), and I've organized for somebody to come and check on the cats while I'm gone, and now I just need to do crap around the house and pack. I'm just feeling sort of numb and unable to make myself do things, which I suppose is normal.

The thing I wonder if it was right was that I sent my brothers (from my father's second marriage) a note to let them know about my grandma. First of all, it's fucked up that I did it over a Fb message, but as that's the only way I communicate with them (I don't have their cell numbers and I'd never call their home phone), what else was I to do? Not tell them? Because nobody would probably tell them because everything was so fucked up last year when my dad died and I know that nobody in the family would feel comfortable calling their mother, and since their mother was totally fucked up when my dad died and didn't tell anybody but me in the family and said that nobody was welcome to come to the calling hours other than me (and I wasn't even invited to whatever their actual service was), well, it's a totally fucked up situation.

And it's not like they're grown-ups - they're only 15 and 13 - so I wasn't sure that I should tell them, or be the one to tell them, or whatever, but then I thought to myself how totally fucked up about it I would be if nobody told me my grandmother had died and it just came up in conversation like a few years later. So I sent them a note about it because I figured that it's what I'd want an older half-sibling to do for me if I had one. Fuck.

Anyway, I got sweet notes back from them both (although I do wonder whether the older of the two is functionally illiterate because he only writes in weird texting language) and then I did another thing that I'm not sure was right, which was that I told them that if they wanted to go to any of the stuff this weekend, though only if it was cool with their mom (which I doubt it would be), that I'd be happy to go get them and to take them with me. Again, I was operating under the notion that if I were them, I'd want to know that I wasn't excluded because of weird shit that had nothing to do with me (i.e., my fucked up stepmother and father's problems with my father's family).

I can't wait until they grow up and we can have a normal relationship. For now, though, at least we have whatever it is that Fb enables.

In other news, I wonder whether it's the right thing that I made plans to meet a person from high school for a drink while I'm in town. That seems sort of tacky, but on the other hand, it works out that we'll both be in town, and I feel like my grandmother would have thought it was fine (though who knows, really, since she is beastly dead).

God. I just accidentally alluded to Ulysses and only realized it after the sentence was typed. Clearly I'm out of it.

But thanks for all of your kind comments and support. Between you guys, my real-life friends, my family, I'm a very lucky girl, even if I'm sad.

23 comments:

Roxie Smith Lindemann said...

All the things you did were right. Not that you need us to tell you that, but, hey, wevs. We are very sorry for your loss. We hope the funeral is a fine celebration of your grandmother's life and that it helps you along in the grieving process. Dogspeed, Dr. C.

PhysioProf said...

There is no "right" or "wrong" in these kinds of situations. I think you did a very kind and loving thing in relation to your half-sibs, and you did a kind and loving thing for yourself in relation to arranging to meet your friend.

I hope you will forgive me that I LOLZed at this:

although I do wonder whether the older of the two is functionally illiterate because he only writes in weird texting language

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I think you did the right thing in both parts of the interaction. They are old enough to manage their mother, although they really shouldn't have to -- they know what she's like. It's a good thing that you're being the bigger person in the relationship, because sooner or later they'll be adults and away from her -- and maybe you can have a decent sibling relationship with them.

Dr. Crazy said...

Roxie,
You're totally right that I don't need you guys to tell me whether I did the right thing, and also that there's no "right" thing when it comes to this crap, Physioprof. I just felt a little weird about the stuff with my brothers because I don't want to put them in a position where they feel pressured about anything, but after writing back and forth with them this afternoon, I think it's all good.

All of that was exhausting, though. Other than that, I'm just taking my time with straightening up around the homestead and I'm not going to be in some mad dash to leave tomorrow morning - I'll get done what I need to get done and get on the road when I'm ready and in time to have dinner with my mom and G, and then maybe I'll get to see my aunts and some of my cousins tomorrow night. It will be good.

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, and Physioprof: I sort of laughed when I typed that, but it's totally what I think every time I hear from him!

human said...

I think it sounds like you did just fine. I hope everything goes okay!

Prof. Koshary said...

My condolences to you. Not to pretend that my two cents have any value in your personal life, but I'd have done the same thing regarding your brothers, and for the same reasons. Even if they don't go, and never even mention it to you, it will mean something to them that you extended the invitation.

Meanwhile, take care of yourself.

life_of_a_fool said...

I think you did right by your brothers as well, and it sounds like the most you can do in the situation.

I'm very sorry for your loss. I think meeting up with your friend is a good thing to do while you're in town.

heu mihi said...

Just read this and the previous post, and I'm really sorry, Dr. C. Terrible news. It's good that you'll be able to go to the funeral, though.

Thoroughly Educated said...

I'm so sorry, Dr. C. I do think you did the right thing all around, and you should _definitely_ have a drink with a friend. The chance to decompress away from family will be worth it.

helenesch said...

I'm so sorry to hear this sad news (I just read your previous post). It sounds to me like you did exactly the right thing. I hope everything goes smoothly this weekend, and that you take care of yourself (and yes, having a drink with an old friend is part of that--no need to feel bad!)

James said...

You already know you did the right thing and families can be weird, so all I have to say is that I'm sorry to hear about your loss; it's been a rough 12 months for you.

rented life said...

My condolences. And yes, you did the right thing!

Firefly said...

You did the right things with your brothers. They deserve to be told and treated with healthy conversation and options. She is their grandmother. You are being humane by seeing to their needs rather than to cause more roadblocks in their lives, physical or emotional. Also considering how you yourself would want to be treated is a good guide in these situations. Kindness trumps the smaller arguments.

Bardiac said...

Just echoing everyone else: you did absolutely the right thing in reaching out to your brothers. They may not have much choice in dealing with their Mom, but you reached out, and that means a lot to them, I bet.

And yes, go have drinks with your friend, because friends are important, and I know either of my grandmothers would have encouraged me to do so.

Travel safely, Dr. C.

Shane in Utah said...

I doubt the FB message seemed weird to your brothers at all; they're probably more comfortable with it than with the phone.

And stately plump Buck Mulligan would be proud...

Susan said...

I'm way behind in saying how sorry I am for your loss. I think it's great that you are seeing an old friend while in town: it means you keep affirming life.
And your stepbrothers? Maybe your real gift is the sense that there is another way to be in the world than their mother & father's weirdnesses! Step-siblings are good. (Mine are all younger than I am, but I love them dearly.)

Dr. Crazy said...

Buck Mulligan would love it - Stephen Dedalus would feel deep animosity. Luckily, I think Stephen Dedalus sucks, and don't care what he might think of me.

You're all so sweet about the high school friend thing. Don't you all realize that the HS friend of whom I speak is one of whom I've written before, and that all of this likely leads in very questionable directions?

I am a person who is using my grandmother's death to scam on a dude from high school. Whatever else you think of me, this is who I am, deep down.

Ann said...

Dr. Crazy--have a good trip. I've reconnected with old friends because they showed up at the "viewing" for my grandfather a few years ago, or because one of their parents died and we were all in town at the same time. Funerals are a part of life, and what better way to reaffirm life than to reconnect (however you want to define it) with friends?

Take care, and travel safely.

Historiann.com

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

My sympathies. But really I hope all the death stops soon. Like with this one. You've had a really hard year of it.

Comet Jo said...

My sympathies. And if, indeed, ONE of the many things you are deep down is someone for whom scamming on a dude from high school is part of how you are dealing with the death of your grandmother, well that makes you human. I mean, it just makes so much sense, its like when Buffy asks Spike why its blood, and he says, "it has to be blood, blood is life." Scamming on a dude from high school is life. Safe travels.

bitternsweet said...

First of all, my condolences.

Second, I had a death in my family last week and I too sent a death announcement over FB ... and it felt all wrong and goulish .. and absolutely necessary. It was a person who needed to URGENTLY know what had happened, but who had cut off contact with the family and it was the only way I knew to get in touch with hir. S/he was on the phone within 20 minutes and on the plane the next morning.

All this to say: technology changes lots of things, including the rituals of mourning.

I hope your time with your family is healing.

Fab Sunshine said...

Good luck with all that, Dr. Crazy. As you can tell, your readers support you entirely.

But when you get back, get back on the blog wagon and keep us all going.

You might want to try to write about this nutty student: http://thesheaf.com/2010/01/school-is-a-waste-of-time/

Best,
FAB