Sometimes I’m not really sure what the fuck I’m getting out of this.
I spend a lot of time- up in my head- trying to determine the motives why I stay here:
How much I put in vs
How much they take out;
What I’m learning vs
What’s becoming bad habits.
What’s mine to own?
What’s theirs to own up to?
Sigh. I’ve stopped the cycle by putting lipstick on a pig.
I see it now-
Why you couldn’t love me:
The things I overdid.
The things I should not have done.
Like the pie-
What I saw as a romantic gesture:
A few weeks too soon.
Questioning my motives.
Strange continued reflections-
That at this point should be moot:
Strawberry Rhubarb learnin.
I never should have made you a pie
Working in hospice is a trip. Some days are really hard and I’m thankful to have coworkers and some friends who get it.
Death is an ever looming presence in this job and sometimes when a patient dies it hits like a gut punch.
Most people don’t get it, the typical response is “well they were on hospice so it wasn’t unexpected so why are you feeling ___________?”
Well yes, they WERE on hospice.
But also, NO….
I’m one of these lucky social workers who have quite a vivid imagination and this works to my advantage and disadvantage. While I can empathize with the patients or their families because I can try to imagine what they’re going thru (to the best of my ability) but unfortunately when they pass, I can also rabbit hole on that experience as well. We don’t always KNOW and when someone is alone at that moment, we never know. Was it quick? Was it painful? Were they scared? Particularly right now when it is hard to see patients in homes and facilities, as a social worker or a chaplain. Sure- there’s some ways around it if things are “imminent” but you don’t always know. Sometimes it’s more rapid than anticipated or a complete surprise. I think about it too much for my own good, probably. It goes downhill from there and snowballs, but I personally take solace in the fact that I still care this much. But not with all patients. Not that I don’t care for them all, but I’m sure there’s some projection, transference, something that makes some harder than others. Maybe it has to do with how long you work with someone. Maybe they remind you of someone: consciously or subconsciously, or they represent something or someone we fear or worry about. Lots of possibilities. Maybe it simply has to do with my control issues. My version of denial of my own mortality. I’m not sure really. But regardless, some days, some patients, some deaths, hit harder and last longer than others.
Keep doing the good work. That’s all we can do.
All the things shed-
to make way for new beginnings:
replaced by ectothermic forces
reflection no longer representative
of the self recognized by Id-
mortal coil bound.
long life lived
for the chance to repair-
the choice to revisit-
the future of a soul
in need of trauma repair-
like mercury retrograde
making all communication
futile; yet needed.
spiral spiral spiral
who do we see when we look?
cracked and distorted
through a looking glass, darkly.
How did it happen-
the only one alone here;
Me. Again. Of course.
Walking the damn line-
Praying for spiritual strength
And fast Benedryl.
Artax-ia let’s say…
breathing in heavy yet noble, gases-
Tinkerbell feelings that expand
And dissipate in a few moments-
A certain adhesive melancholia
Like a snare…
It’s a trap.
I can go months-
Years without a cigarette.
Until I get a certain sad that only smoking (thus far) relieves… maladaptive or not…
it’s a coping skill too…
Said certain sadness passes…
Cue subsequent guilt for even purchasing…
Then! (as if to punish myself for it)
I am compelled to finish the pack.
We’re never really finished, I guess.
Surrounded by the ever present Spectre of death…
Mortality itself has haunted since the 11th year-
Family & friends dying like the Hemingways and Fondas having a competition…
Addictions and violence permeate a life… a society… a culture.
Supporting those you love,
Facing my own fears;
Tasked with aiding those in grief…
A lifetime of training?
They don’t tell you the right things to say…
Or even the wrong things to say.
“It will always come in waves… they just get further between…”
Weak tea for the knock kneed.
Birth to death and all between;
Beautiful acceptance to righteous anger-
Fuck this mortal coil.
What a compounding thought-
Reflecting on my daddy issues;
My insane need for a father figure…
What I needed was a foundation-
“The all father”
for all intents and purposes-
An education on faith-
Repentance AND reconciliation.
A basis for growth- a reason for service and understanding of trauma-
And finally- a present presence.
I’ve subdued my urges-
As often as I can…
Quieting the undesired parts of self.
But still… it’s not enough-
Now, inactions aren’t enough…
Words now forbidden-chastised-shamed-