Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A place in between: the loss at Xmas

“There’s alive and there’s dead. And there’s a worse place in between em, that I hope you won’t know nothing about”
from award winning period film, Get Low

I’ve been trying to get things in order to keep on going. There is a harsh brutality to it, but when you are in the place between living and dead, it is best to get to one or the other. Within that, there is no space for joy or Xmas as I have gone for a two hour nap and woken up a day later. I was awake 12 hours over almost four days that way. It is no way to keep living.

I ran out of energy to eat, the face angular and body resting while the torso heaves for oxygen. I wish for those who think that Xmas time is flying by that they never know what it means to watch life literally fly by. And to realize that oft times it is the struggles of those you can’t see, against the problems you haven’t heard about which have it the worst. Uncertainty in having enough money for toothpaste: that’s not a metaphor, it is reality. Which is why, if lying paralyzed for hours overheating is hell in a skin barely baked, or in a chair with headrest holding the head paralyzed by watching UK DVD’s or something else, that is better.

For me Xmas is about loss and will always be about loss. The loss of family. The loss of belonging. That first boxing day and Xmas day in the UK, where we sat freezing in an empty flat, and alone, only just having bought a pot big enough for making Chili the day before. It was the knowing that others are and were being welcomed, are part of something which makes it all the more painful. No wonder, with the isolation and evaluation socially and found wanting that suicides go up.

I found a good film called Triageon dealing with the grief both of having a disease, or sudden chronic condition. It shows, more than tells, those reasons that those who know the ‘war stories’ of disability or medicos, or having it grim tend to stick together, tend to understand without having to know all the words. It is also for those who grieve loss. Called Triage, it is was not what I was expecting, and it was more than I was expecting. Kurdish War film, film on war photographers, the questions on grief and blame, and more.

My region 2, 3 and 4 DVD and DVD sets I am putting up for quick sale so they can go to good homes. Last time I did this, I couldn’t post a blog before they sold, so I will try for Thursday.

I hope you have the joy of living. I hope that you are able to tell all your stories. I hope you don’t mind getting gifts from me in Dec or Jan or Feb or after as I keep going, onward. Not easy, not what I want to be when I want to be, but onward.

Always onward. An example: The film ‘Get Low’ was good writing by after five years it had been rejected by every studio at least three times. They still kept on, and nominated for 11 awards, winning 2 so far, a 40% profit just due to cinema sales. Why? Because it is a story where you don’t know what is going to happen next: the best kind of stories.

8 comments:

Displaced said...

Hi Elizabeth,

It's good to still be hearing your voice (in blog form). I loved the life=risk video and shared it on via my facebook with a reference to Screw Bronze.
Cheers

Lorna, Bob and Liam said...

I'm sorry that Christmas is a bad time for you, on top of the struggles to live each day.

I can only do what we always do... wish and hope for moments of respite for you and Linda, holding you both in our hearts, sending love.

It's never enough. We know. And yet... you endure, you find moments of distraction and even moments of grace.

We care.

Lorna, Bob and Liam

Baba Yaga said...

Christmas is a bad time for far too many people: that mythical goodwill to all men and Happy Family Time further excludes the already excluded. I made my peace by deciding I didn't have to notice it, and could use it - well, to do what I always do, when I want to shut the world out: it might shut me out, but I could shut it out too, and be grateful - so there.

I don't know that that option would work for everyone. For you, you fight so hard to participate anywhere life will let you - or won't -, I can hardly imagine you finding the freedom in that that I did.

These days, Doing Christmas is a sort of duty - which is another thing I used not to have. Those also belong more to life than to the worse place in-between. You know that place far too well...

Well, I hope there'll be some good things for you this year, despite all. Maybe even enough to make this year a little better than most, despite all, and all, and all.

Hopes are beastly inadequate. Lorna said it well.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I have an hour, and another hour today, and shall try for outside as I am told it is above freezing, though, I have to be surrounded by candles, as my body needs the warmth, but cannot take the core heat until failure, which is like a relief, when I am snuggled under covers so high I can't see over them, and yet my arms are purple and my whole body shakes from the muscles, those which haven't died. My skin, it dimples where everything, the hair, the muscles, they have all died.

Perhaps, like how I never understood or appreciated Saraarts, never got why there were blanks and then little blips of almost trivia, but I do now. It is because the life she lived was so horrible, so much like a nightmare, with carer burnout, with disease burnout, with all of it, that to come out and blog about bits of nothing was her defiance. Until that burned out too - as it does, in the late day tears and early morning sobbing with blood coming out of mouth and nose.

I would not wish this on anyone. This is my trial. For those who call themselves friends, this is your test, one which you, when facing that same wall I face now, will ask yourself, 'was it enough, was I there, did she/they know?' I don't say that because it is even me saying it, I say it because I end up seeing it, whether I want to or not - those who remain, and those who act in this way and that, and then those who get ill and how they deal with it.

Linda McClung said...

I would have to agree with the guy from Down Low - the in between seems like a horrible place to be.

I really liked the motivational video. I never took risks until I met you. I have envied your ability to take risks. And I've really appreciated your encouragement and support over the years when I would take risks. I am a better person because of you.

Kate J said...

I'd like to be there for you, to offer some kind of meaningful support, but beyond posting comments on a blog, and sending small gifts what can any of us do? Whatever we do is never going to be enough... certainly whatever I do is never going to be enough. Can I make a difference? Probably not. But I am still here, and hope that counts for something.
There's certainly a lot of hypocrisy about Christmas and its 'true meaning' and 'spirit' but there's just a lot of stress and anxiety, loneliness and depression for many people. But I imagine Linda may perhaps get some extra days off work over Christmas and I do hope you can spend a little more time together.
Love & peace

cheryl g said...

That first quote really does cover your situation. The holiday season is cruel to those on the fringe of society. You have had so many losses and all I can do is promise that you won’t lose me. I liked the life = risk video. I took a risk in meeting you and gained more family and friends I would do anything for. Your encouragement and example have meant so much to me. You have helped me grow from a place where everything in my life was on hold.

Toothpaste will be delivered soon.

cheryl g said...

That first quote really does cover your situation. The holiday season is cruel to those on the fringe of society. You have had so many losses and all I can do is promise that you won’t lose me. I liked the life = risk video. I took a risk in meeting you and gained more family and friends I would do anything for. Your encouragement and example have meant so much to me. You have helped me grow from a place where everything in my life was on hold.

Toothpaste will be delivered soon.