Finding Peace — Manuscript Post #60
–Sessions: 51 of 53
Monday, July 12, 2010 11:00am
Blood Donation, Apheresis, Number 319
I told Elsie about my son coming home from college for the summer. He had been living in the dorms. He liked to get omelets in the dining commons. Before he went to college, I made omelets for him at home. He told me “you fold the omelets perfectly, the ones in the dining commons were sloppy”. I don’t think I folded the omelets I made for him perfectly, it wasn’t about the omelets. My son has a memory of me that involves my cooking for him and he liked it. My memory of my father is the night he left.
I had taken notes of what I experienced during my trip to my mother’s funeral. I had begun to review all of this with Elsie several sessions ago, but the sessions after that had been taken up discussing more recent events with my siblings.
During the rest of this session I went over the rest of my notes from the funeral. I told Elsie about many things. The books about guitars I found at the airport on my way to visit my mother, signs of positive things that were happening in my life. After I got off the plane, the stained glass at the airport. The stained glass windows at the church where the funeral was held, I didn’t think I had ever seen a Tiffany window before. It made me want to get back to my next glass project, an 18″ Wisteria lamp shade I had started a long time ago.
I described the obituary and how it wasn’t accurate. Elsie wanted to know why Snap and Crackle were not speaking to Pop. I did my best to explain what I had been told about their many conflicts. These involved criticizing whom they married, who claimed who was using drugs and various versions of who said what to whom.
While I was waiting for the funeral to start, the minister talked to us and there was a light falling snow. The trees outside the church were barren. I told Elsie that I understood that the cold, the trees without leaves and the snow would all normally be seen as signs of death. For me, seeing snow seemed special, and I felt safe in the church.
Snap spoke during the service, I didn’t want to and I felt ok about it. Snap said that our mother was no longer in pain, and I felt that was very true. I told Elsie how strongly I was affected when I helped carry the casket, that it felt good.
My wife told me my texts while I was gone seemed normal and that I seemed happy. We had both worried that this trip would make me very sad.
I told Elsie about Crackle being unaware that it would cost money to publish the obituary, and my decision to pay for it. Elsie listened carefully and said it was very generous of me to pay, that this allowed Crackle to have some closure about our mother’s death. Elsie also said “I would not have been that generous.” I wasn’t upset by this response. I wanted to tell Elsie what happened, and what decisions I made to see what she thought. I wanted to know if she thought I was handling things well. If Elsie thought I was too generous, that was fine with me.
I had gone through all the items that Snap had shipped to me. I was going to photograph everything to post on my website. I planned to email everyone asking them to review the photos and tell me which items they wanted. Everyone would know what items I had and which ones I wanted to keep. I was providing the transparency I had promised I would. I told Elsie it felt good to be getting on with this project, but I didn’t feel any sadness.
I told Elsie about Crackle apologizing for not inviting me to her wedding. Elsie said it sounded like Crackle was trying to make peace with me. I wondered if this had been the last time I would see my siblings, this could be a lot of closure on many fronts.
I told Elsie that I wasn’t sad about my mother’s death or attending her funeral. Elsie told me that I wasn’t sad because I went to see my mother before she died, that made my mother and myself feel better, a very generous thing to do given how my mother had been. I told Elsie that I felt selfish because the visit to my mother had helped me so much.
Elsie told me there will be sadness when I think about what I could have done with supportive parents, the energy I had to put into overcoming my childhood could have been put into other things. My sons are moving on to new things, their energy is not being spent overcoming their parents.
Elsie continued. “Most people parent the way their parents did. You knew that you didn’t want to repeat what your parents had done. You had to find your own way. When your sons have kids they will know how to parent.”
While I had covered a lot of what happened on my trip to the funeral, those were events from several months ago. At the end of this session I told Elsie that I didn’t have a lot of new things to tell her, things that had happened since our last session. Elsie said that was because “you’re done.” I usually paid for each session when I arrived and this time I had paid her for two sessions. Elsie said “you gave me enough for another session, does that mean you want to meet again?” I told her I wanted to meet at least one more time.
Elsie said “you are always welcome here” and there were no issues with the insurance as far as my wanting more sessions. Why did I want to continue after Elsie had told me I was “done”? I had some specific questions I wanted to discuss. I wanted to wait to ask these questions because I wanted to be sure Elsie thought we were done with everything she felt we needed to discuss.
When I first started therapy, I decided that I would not try to rush or shortcut the process. I asked once how Elsie thought the process was going, but I never asked her “are we there yet?” Once Dr. Sue had told me that I needed to “talk to someone”, I made the decision to make sure I got everything I could from therapy. Sometimes it works better to focus on what we don’t want out of a situation. In the future, if any of my symptoms were to return, I didn’t want to wonder if maybe I had cut any corners on my treatment.
Now that Elsie had said she felt I was done with therapy, I wanted to pursue a few more subjects to make sure all my questions had been addressed.