Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
I think that I might be having an existential breakdown. That, or I’m just exhausted and depressed after a month of dealing with the aftermath of my father’s death. Or both.
I think both.
The death of my father rattled me in a way that I could never have expected. I knew, of course, that I’d be overwhelmed by grief – I’ve known this since I was a child, since I first began fearing the deaths of my parents – and I knew that I would be mourning both my father and the past. What I did not know was the extent to which this latter mourning – the mourning of my past, my childhood and girlhood and womanhood as his daughter, and his pasts, the pasts that I knew and the pasts that I didn’t know, the pasts that I have been living and reliving this past month as I forged my way through decades of papers and mementos and photographs and memories, some know to me, some not – I did not know the extent to which this latter mourning would unsettle me.
Ordinarily, I write my way through sadness and conflict and crisis. But this time… I find that I cannot. Most days, I cannot. There are nights that I lay awake, narrating some portion of this story to myself, and deriving comfort from that narration, but when I sit down to type, the words don’t come. They don’t come, I think, because this feels, to me, like a story that no-one else could possibly understand, this story of a daughter obsessing over the life and death of her father and the spiritual crisis that this obsession provokes. And so I balk at sharing it.
I hope that I’ll overcome this reluctance to share. That, or that I’ll be able to push these concerns to one side and return to stories about bad motherhood.
In the meantime, I’m just so tired.