So here we are, almost a month since my dad died. I cried every day for three weeks, and then I wrote my blog post and felt a lot better. Writing is cathartic for me, and it helped that so many people read it (mostly via a Facebook link) and said they knew exactly how I felt because they had lost a parent too. So, there’s that.
Mostly right now I’m trying to balance catching up at work with being a bit careful with myself — trying not to get too tired, too hungry, too stressed. Trying to find joy when and where I can. There’s a fine line between feeling the pain and not wallowing in it, and sometimes distraction is key. Here’s what I’ve been distracting myself with:
- I mentioned that back in August Erik and I got hooked on the Serial podcast, which investigated a murder trial that happened some years ago in Baltimore. Recently we found another podcast, Undisclosed, which continues the story. There are some legitimate criticisms about Undisclosed – first, the sound quality is often not great, and the hosts speak too fast; and second, one of the hosts is a family friend of Adnan, the person convicted of the murder, and sometimes you kind of have to question the bias of some of the reporting. Personally I find it occasionally frustrating, like when they over-analyze minutia of the case that either have a slim bearing on the case, or there is just never going to be a way to sort it out (eg, what a bunch of stoned teenagers may or may not have said to each other over 16 years ago) . That said, they have pretty thoroughly convinced me that the state of Maryland’s case was impossible and that Adnan should not have been convicted based on the facts presented at trial. However, I’m still not yet convinced Adnan isn’t guilty.
- The Great British Baking Show (or Bake Off, depending whether you are in the US or in the UK). There’s a season on Netflix right now, and a new season running on PBS. Compared to American food competitions, this show is full of relatively normal people, of average attractiveness (including non-chiclet sized teeth), who on the whole appear to be rather lovely people who might be slightly obsessed with their ovens. I find it charming, and I’m also compelled to use all the nice cookware we got for our wedding.
- Homeland. What can I say, in another life or parallel dimension, I work for the CIA. We got hooked on this show via Netflix DVD’s, and when the new season premiered I talked E into upgrading our cable. We now get pretty much every channel – and there is still nothing on, except on Sunday nights at 9 pm which is when Homeland, the Walking Dead and The Leftovers all run. Thanks to On Demand, I win the time slot (I can’t stand the Walking Dead and think The Leftovers has jumped the proverbial shark). The other night I had a dream where aliens landed and Saul (a character from Homeland) knew I knew, and he and the aliens were all trying to get me. BECAUSE I KNEW. In the dream, Erik was the only one who believed me about the aliens (more proof I married the right one). Meanwhile, I was trying to stop my sister from eating the dinner that was going to allow the aliens to abduct her.
- Trying to plan a honeymoon. We can’t quite decide on the when, which kind of dictates the where. Belize is a contender, but also Italy. Or Iceland? Or do we go out west and do the Grand Canyon? Spain has been mentioned, too (not by me). Ireland has been mentioned too, because E has never been there and I’d like to go back, except I’m a bad enough back-seat driver here in the US. I don’t know what would happen with E driving on the other side of the road. I might implode. Or he might leave me in some sheep pasture.
- Brad Paisley. Proof that grief makes you temporarily insane, because I can’t even with this. I hate country music. But there’s this song of his, a duet with Dolly Parton, called “When I Get Where I’m Going” , which reminds me of my dad and my nephew…but watching that video led to others, late at night when I couldn’t sleep, and now I’m walking around the house singing “listenin’ to old Alabama / driving through Tennessee”, much to Erik’s chagrin. Of course, I have driven through Tennessee, several times in fact, from Memphis to Knoxville and back again…but that’s another story for another day. Another lifetime, really.