Yesterday, I wrote about The Breakdown, this is a sort of continuation.
With the last breath, that was it. Our diplomatic lives were yesterday, and now, we had to live for tomorrow.
Or that was how I felt at least. My Mother on the other hand, went into full Diplomatic mode. The arranging of my Father’s funeral, was a strange blur. My Mother reached out to my Father’s brother, who incidentally, my Father had cut all ties from, he hadn’t uttered a single word about him, even as he was dying. The caterers were called, the Department was called, the day was set for the funeral.
Having hibernate for a year, my Mother had barely unpacked the house since moving back from posting. My Father was diagnosed so quickly after moving, that all energy went into fighting cancer. My parents had not entertained or gone out. So when my Mother had an opportunity to entertain, she did. She went all out. It was so displaced and odd, the visual of my Mother fluttering about from one person to another. Her face smile, the fake laugh and small talk came out. She was doing what she did at all diplomatic functions, fluttered about while my Father veered for the people he needed to talk to.
As my Mother fluttered, I looked around, and realized the majority of the people there, the diplomats and colleagues of my Father, were sad, but their lives would go on. This would be merely a day in their lives. My Mother was fluttering about thinking it was her homecoming, that somehow, she was still important. My Father’s colleagues came to say goodbye to a member of their inner circle and pay respects to my Mother, who was now an outsider. My Mother didn’t realize this que. It was so subtle, but it was there. In her strange behaviour, she was acting like my Father’s status somehow still gave her status.
My Mother has attempted to get back into that inner circle, she will deny it, but she tried. It was painful to watch, her attempts to be a part of a life that she no longer had access to, nor did she have anything to bring to the table. She never really understood, she was never part of that inner circle. Like all kids and spouses, they were part of the outsiders, we were along for the ride, but we were never part of the actual party.
My Mother had all forgotten her private breakdown (read that story here), she spent the next week entertaining family and friends. But no one but me would see the dark side of her grief. That would come later, and she has never really recovered.