R. J. Nello

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ-born, πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§-based, novelist.πŸ“– Writing, travel, culture and more. Always holding "auditions" – so be careful or you may end up a character in β€œ1797”…and perhaps an evil one.🎭 (And why do I suspect some of you might like that latter in particular?)πŸ˜‚

Stages Of Grief

November 11, 2015
R. J. Nello

This morning I’m driving my now widower father, and my 44 year old sister (she lived with my parents, and so now lives with my father: let’s please not go there right now), up to our (my wife and mine’s – and I know that’s ungrammatical, but I don’t care right now) place in the Catskills for a few days.

We probably don’t have to do this, but I desperately want to. Dad agreed. He needs a different view and I think he knows that.

And I have to get the hell away for a while from this (my nowΒ late mother’s) October 26 place of death. Increasingly, I can’t bear this f-cking house. I never wanted them to move here to Pennsylvania (it’s not about PA itself; but let’s not go there either right now), and my late mother is “everywhere” here still, of course.

She died in a hospice hospital bed set up in the dining room feet away from where I’m typing this. And the adjoining kitchen where I am now – her domain if she had one; she loved to cook – seems like a museum. Neither my father nor my sister will ever use it the same way. What a sad waste. The stocks will run down. The various gadgets will go unused. It will cease to be anything other than a microwave corner, fridge, sink and a dishwasher. (Yes, he finally got a bl-ody new dishwasher. Thank heaven for Lowes.) There will be no style to it, no joy there.

My sister

My sister “forgot” to put away leftovers from dinner the other night. [Photo by me, 2015.]

There are stages of grief, I know. I’ve heard about those, but never had really paid much attention before. Right now one thing I can’t push long from my mind is I keep seeing my mother taking her last breath right before my eyes.

Sorry about this “rant” post. I hate this. Hopefully my own house will provide some solace.

Thanks for reading.


  1. I can’t imagine how you feel right now. I hope the new location helps during this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I’ve moved from sad to angry. The reality that nothing will be the same again is hard to accept. My family is collapsing around me, and I can’t do anything about it. My wife had to return to the UK, and I have stayed on with them here alone – which is tougher, because at least she and I could talk to each other.

      My sister is a very troubled woman who can barely boil a kettle and has been looked after like a child. She and I have almost nothing in common. Our relationship is distant, at best. At worst, I know she can’t stand me, and, by the way, I can’t stand her either.

      The other day my father flat out told me he doesn’t care if he drops dead. The fun man I knew and raised me may still be living, but in a real sense he is gone too. What a horrible time in life.


    • He secretly brought my mother’s ashes up to my house. He never told me he was. I saw them sitting in the bedroom he’s using.


    • And I hate myself for being angry, because I’m not an angry person. But I’m tired, too. And when we get frazzled, we can get short tempered of course.


  2. I think anger is a normal feeling. I imagine you’re feeling anger about a number of things. On the other hand, I can understand him not wanting to leave your mother. How long were they together? His whole world must be shattered, as is everyone else in the family, but in ways that are unique to each of you. It’s hard when everything is still raw and so very painful. I remember last year when my sister passed away I kept thinking of that scene in Legends of the Fall where Tristan finally starts screaming at God in the middle of the storm. I’m not sure it’s the yelling at God, or the release of everything inside, but I think there’s something to that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My parents were married almost 52 years – their anniversary is early December.

      I had recalled you and your sister. And I certainly can understand the yelling at God: I’ve done that myself, privately, no one else around. My own sister and I also had quite an angry exchange when we were alone just before Mom died.

      Definitely. Everyone handles this situation in his/her own way.


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