Still, I'm a wreck; and who wouldn't be? It's normal.
At the moment all I and my siblings have are a set of vague ideas of what must be done. My other sister is flying to Maine this weekend; I will probably have to go as well, but I'm going to try to make it Monday or Tuesday of next week rather than this weekend. I'm going to need the therapist on Thursday and church on Sunday, dang it.
There's no way the funeral can possibly take place before next week anyway, not considering the suddeness of the death and the fact that my sister and brother both have things that must be done this week.
I may drive; I may fly. I haven't decided which, yet; but it'll probably be "fly" only because the idea of driving 1,000 miles by myself makes me shudder. Besides, if you figure in the cost of meals and a hotel stay somewhere in the middle, it probably wouldn't save me any money whatsoever.
The other thing is, we're not sure where the funeral will be held. There's been some discussion of it being held here; though that would be rather difficult and cumbersome (and costly) it might be well. None of this has been decided, though, and it will have to be. *sigh*
Also, I can't get my mind off that dream I had last month. It might be coincidence; it might be something else.
The mind is a very funny thing. I had been told, Saturday the 13th of August, that my sister in Maine was drinking hard liquor again. That night, I had a dream which included stuff about someone having died, etc--it is not much of a leap for one's subconscious to say, "If she's drinking the hard stuff, it's only a matter of time!" and then pop out a dream saying so. As I said in the post I linked, it probably picked Aug 17 because I'd been thinking about "Endless Eight" before I fell asleep.
This is what I tell myself in order to keep from hiding under the bed. This kind of shit creeps me right the fuck out; it is not coincidental that I am resisting going to bed while it's still dark out, not with this shit going on.
The one silver lining to all this is that my feelings are only mourning. I've been taking a hard look at how I feel about things and I don't feel any guilt, which would be easy to feel in a situation like this. My sister and I were estranged; while I don't doubt there'll be plenty of regret to go around I am still aware of the fact that there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it.
She set the tone for our relationship; she tossed me out the door into a Maine winter with only shank's ponies to get me to the nearest town. She was living in a self-destructive pattern even then, and until she threw me out I was prepared to go right on enabling her--but after that, I realized that helping her was not helping her. You know what I mean.
Everyone who knew and loved her told her: stop drinking--for the love of God, STOP DRINKING. She would have none of it; anyone critical of her drinking became the focus of her anger, and even incipient paranoia. She stopped talking to anyone who gave her that advice, often hanging up in a huff over it.
It's a standard pattern for an addict, of course. It's a shame she didn't have time to realize what was happening to her; even having her son leave for the second time wasn't enough to get through the addict's muleheadedness about the stuff.
So the question that I keep coming back to is, What could I possibly have done? And there is only one answer:
Nothing. Not a god-damned thing, and you know it.
That's going to have to do. Even if she and I had been on the best of terms, it would not have helped; Mom tried to tell my sister to stop drinking and got the same treatment everyone else did. It was a minefield.
...it's a mouthfucking from Satan--saying "it sucks" is just not bad enough--but that's how it is.
None of which makes me feel one iota better. Knowing there's nothing you can do actually makes it worse. It alleviates guilt and regret but it also makes the event that much harder to accept.
* * *
Addiction is pretty bad, anyway. If something gets its hooks into you, you'll go the rest of your life having to force yourself to say "no". It's easy for a person who's not addicted to something to say, "Hey, just give that up!"
You know, if it were that easy, there wouldn't be addicts.
I am blessed with the ability to learn things vicariously; so I can see what addiction does to people without experiencing it myself. I may not get all the nuance, but the gross details are not hard to miss and it's plain that the element of choice comes only at the beginning of the addiction.
My mother learned that she could not drink, not even a little bit. She tried to tell my sister this; and for a little while--in 2010--my sister actually stopped drinking. Mom had said to me, "I think [your sister] is beginning to realize she can't drink." It didn't last, unfortunately; and the rest is history.
My sister struggled with her alcoholism; and unfortunately for the rest of us, it won. *sigh*
* * *
Which is not to say that she's blameless, of course; she's not. She chose to start drinking, some three or four times. You don't fall off the wagon--you jump.
She drank heavily.
She stopped drinking in 2004 after she was admitted to the hospital with 8% liver function.
She started drinking again.
She stopped drinking in 2008 after she turned yellow for the second time.
She started drinking again in 2009 after her estranged husband died.
She stopped drinking again.
She started drinking again in 2010, about the time Mom was hospitalized.
...she kept right on going until September 2011, when she stopped drinking because she died.
Yeah. I count three times she made a choice, there, to drink. I'm not saying it was an easy choice and I'm not saying she didn't have a major struggle with the issue; what I'm saying is that she chose to drink. Even if the choice was a failure of willpower, the bottle didn't open itself and pour its contents into a glass. Keeping the stuff around the house, not throwing it out; going out and buying more even if she did throw the old stuff away--the liquor didn't march into her house on its own feet and put a gun to her head and force her to drink it.
* * *
I just wish she'd gone and gotten some help. Joined a program, went to rehab, something. But--again--no one could tell her anything.
...I'm just repeating myself. I'm going to take my normal pill--and a Xanax, a whole one--and hit the hay. I'm not doing anyone (least of all myself) any favors by staying awake.