Staying busy

Yesterday was much harder than the day before. Slowly the realization that J is really for-real gone and never coming back is beginning to dawn on me and I can’t even deal with it. I think it’s going to continue to hit me harder for a while.

The bright spot of my day was probably that I got to talk to my sister. She and I have never really been especially close. She reached out to me by text a couple days ago and I replied that I tried calling her back and got voicemail but I didn’t know how often she checked it. She replied back (sounding kinda snippy) about all the million things she had to do with the kids and that she had heard my message but was so tired she was just going to crash so sorry.

I replied yesterday morning, sounding very light and I just said something like “hey, I totally get it! I know you are super busy. If we have to schedule a time that works for you I’m totally fine with that.”

So she called me while her kids were in a half-hour music class and we talked. I was very pleasantly surprised that she didn’t offer any of the typical platitudes. She said that it was good that he was no longer suffering but he was still gone way too soon.

And in a way, I feel almost guilty that I’ve been able to relax quite a bit since J died, particularly in terms of Covid. Don’t get me wrong—I still wear my N95 when I go out—but it’s like a heavy weight has been lifted from my shoulders because I spent the past 2 years on extra high alert because I really didn’t want to get it and give it to him.

I also told her a high-level overview of the things I’m worried about (like not getting the life insurance payout) and she said that all I can really do is pray. That doesn’t offend me. Like I said, going through this experience with J has made me realize that there’s still so much I don’t understand in terms of faith.

While she’s more superficially churchgoing than I am and I don’t have any desire for that, ultimately I do feel like she’s right that all I can do is pray. Aside from bombing the insurance company, there’s little else I can do.

We communicate much, much better over the phone than by text or email.

I also got a really sweet and thoughtful card from Dylan’s girlfriend’s dad, the kind of condolence card you can only send if you’ve been through this kind of loss yourself. And he even signed it “love.” Not that there’s ever been any attraction between us. But I have tried hard to show my appreciation and respect for his help and he’s probably going to be my in-law someday, so at least we get along well.

But it was also a day of many bad surprises. Like Chloe went in for her wisdom teeth removal surgery and when I got there, they said insurance had declined the claim as not being “medically necessary.” I honestly don’t get that at all because she had X-rays and everything, and they just covered the exact same procedure with the exact same dentist for Dylan in August. I could appeal it but it would take longer than I’ll have the insurance for. So I had to pay for the whole thing out of pocket—$1600.

And then I found out that to avoid having to reapply to A&M, Dylan can take one online course this semester. Which is great but financial aid won’t cover any of it of course, so there’s an additional $1700 I have to cough up. I see my savings and GoFundMe earnings being quickly whittled away and it scares the living shit out of me—especially now that I’m suddenly a lot less certain whether I’ll even get the life insurance policy that I’m supposed to.

And did I mention that the life insurance company that denied our dental claim is the same company that is in charge of life insurance? Yikes. I definitely don’t feel like I’m in good hands and J always made me feel so safe. I can’t work any more than I already do, as I’m already maxing out my allowable earnings on disability and may even have to pay some of it back.

But I guess another bright spot of the day is that I made dinner (nothing big, just ravioli and sauce) and everyone really appreciated it and told me so, even though it wasn’t fancy. Then I made some double chocolate muffins from scratch because it’s cold here and those don’t take long to make. It really felt like a way of showing my love for the kids.

Dylan’s girlfriend spent the night and I got to help her with a couple of minor things and she got to feed Roshi a Churu stick (which he’s so polite about eating.) I like it that none of my cats are scared of her anymore. They recognize her as being among our safe tribe.

Chloe only got prescribed ibuprofen at first after her wisdom teeth removal and so I was trying to contact the dentist after hours, which proved to be kinda challenging. She was in a lot of pain and ibuprofen wasn’t cutting it.

Fortunately, Dyl still had some Tylenol 3s with codeine left over from his surgery and gave it to her.

Chloe said, “When the institutions let us down, you can always count on family.” And I guess that’s true.

I just really, really wish I wasn’t going through this alone. I wish I could tell J about how insane his mother and stepfather are being and how much harder they’re making my life. I wish I could tell him about paying extra for Dyl to stay enrolled at A&M (which he would unquestionably agree was the right thing to do.) I wish we could share a vent session about how much the insurance companies suck. I wish I could tell him about how nervous I am that the landlord hasn’t responded to me in 3 days.

I just wish I could talk to him at all and I can’t; I’ve tried. And it all just feels so hopelessly lonely.

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