My Mazamet

Life at β„– 42

And now for not beautiful things, like Covid-19

Last week my mind was the scene of a landslide of memories and emotions. It’s taken me a while to collect my thoughts. My email began flooding on Wednesday. Messages from people I haven’t seen in decades and even from people I don’t actually know. Brazilian media was awash with stories of one of their more famous doctors/scientists getting Covid-19, then being put on a ventilator. Then there was a story about him dying. Except that was a mistake or fake news and was debunked by one of those fact-checking sites. He’s alive and apart from the Coronavirus he’s got Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) which was followed by renal problems, which was followed by dialysis. This was all peppered by a maliciously edited video of the man saying only useless old people die of Covid which is circulating like wildfire. Of course that’s not what he meant at all, but people want to get clicks so they’ll happily pile on to an already dreadful situation.

I don’t have any personal knowledge of events because I haven’t had contact with my family in over 20 years, but the man in question is my grandfather — which is why people from a long time ago have been emailing me.

We haven’t gotten along since I was a child. He’s a patriarch in the classic Latin, and very much Colonial, style. And as most of you already know that’s not a good match for my temperament. In any event, even though we’re estranged, these events have caused in me a general malaise. More than anything a sense of waste. Wasted energy, wasted emotion, wasted time — wasted expectations. Wasted. I think deep down I’ve always had that flicker of hope so natural to the human psyche that things end in resolution. The moment in the film when someone says now I understand. You know, before they die. Of course I consciously know that only I can give myself the now I understand line.

Anyway, that’s where one is right now. From what I’ve read of Covid-19, once combined with ARDS, renal and circulatory problems and advanced age, we’re looking at an extremely high mortality rate of probably over 75%.Β  I knew this moment would come one day and I didn’t know what I’d feel. It’s profound malaise.

40 comments on “And now for not beautiful things, like Covid-19

  1. Bizzy
    July 27, 2020

    I just had to accept that my family was never going to understand my choices in life. Mind you, all I did was go to college and then decide not to have kids. And don’t get me started on their life choices. At some point I felt it just wasn’t worth any more of my energy. Now they are dying. I made my peace with them, if not they with me, long ago. So death, okay, it happens. Seeing them falsely accused in the media would bother me, but not a lot more than if I did not know the person. So, profound malaise? It’s worth thinking about why, which is probably what you are doing. In any case, that’s sad news about your grandfather. Nobody deserves any of what is happening to him right now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 27, 2020

      I guess I was caught a bit off guard. If I’d just seen an article, it would probably, as you say, be just another article. But once people start asking how we’re doing it creates a whole world of questions. Or rather, awakens questions that had been put to rest.

      Like

      • Bizzy
        July 27, 2020

        I’m wondering: what if this happened to my mother? As Tolstoy said, “Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” So I’m just talking about my own situation here. What if I heard it from others first? I would first check with a sister who stays in touch with both of us to ask for the true story. I would ask myself if I could/should have done anything differently. I’m asking myself now and honestly, no, at the time I did the best that I could. Both my sisters have said if they were me, and it was relatively easy to cut off ties — apparently she’s okay with her grandkids — they would do the same. Then I’d let it go, partly with gratitude for those who stepped up, helped me when my own family would not and when my mother tried to reduce my self-esteem to zero. Those people saved my life and to, in effect, choose an accident of birth over the many other choices others and I made, to me that would be a mistake.

        Assuming borders were open, would I fly back to California for some sort of deathbed reconciliation? I’d be tempted, because I sat with my grandmother, bitchqueen of the universe, as she lay dying. She wanted a reconciliation too, and so went out with a sense, at least with regard to us, of love and acceptance.

        This is all pretty personal. Come on over and we can talk about it offline. Only a four-hour drive… For now, especially as it is, in my case, theoretical, that may be about as far as I can reasonably go. Family dynamics are so complex. I wish you well in resolving this in your own life.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        July 27, 2020

        I agree with everything you say. I know this is it, and there was no other way to have done things. Maybe my malaise is for that, knowing that things couldn’t have been better. And when things like this happen there’s no room for the fantasy that maybe there might have been a way.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Alien Resort
      July 27, 2020

      I’m the same way with my family. No ties, and that’s fine.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        July 28, 2020

        It is absolutely fine. Did you ever feel pressured by other people’s expectations to do things differently? I’ve always had the impression that in choosing to stay away I’m cast as the villain.

        Like

      • Alien Resort
        July 28, 2020

        Yes but the stress of dealing with family is much worse.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Anonymole
    July 27, 2020

    Given my self-professed semi-existential, semi-nihilist outlook on life, I’d say that wasting time, energy, and emotion on people who don’t deserve consideration, or on untenable situations where one knows resolution will never reveal itself is the singular regret I’ll take with me into the void.

    Your mention of wasting life, really, brought that home to me.

    — “I know that the Universe is absurd and that nothing matters, but while I’m here, don’t waste my time!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 27, 2020

      In that vein, is delusion not one of the main motivators of humans?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymole
        July 27, 2020

        “Mudge and I came to that conclusion. With our too-large brains, and without the ability to delude ourselves into thinking there is purpose in life, we’d all collectively commit suicide.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        July 27, 2020

        That sounds suspiciously like the voice in my head!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. pene
    July 27, 2020

    I will not dismiss your sense of malaise but I have been catching up on your blog and note that there are a lot of people out there who value and cherish you. Be strong xx Pene

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 27, 2020

      Thank you, Pene! I hope you’re doing well and that your work load wasn’t made terrible by the virus. I was going to write to ask how you were doing but then I thought you probably had enough things to deal with during this crisis.

      Like

  4. Arkenaten
    July 27, 2020

    Love them or hate them, family is family, sometimes with the capital F. Not easy to simply switch off and be completely indifferent.
    However, as George Harrison once sang: All Things Must Pass.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. clubschadenfreude
    July 27, 2020

    I have an aunt who has covid. No idea how she is. She had been the “fun” aunt and then became a Trumpie asshole. If she dies of covid, oh well, she was dead to me years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Helen Devries
    July 27, 2020

    From earlier posts I think you were finding a way of living with the world and I hope this does not put you off the track. That flicker of hope of resolution can be fatal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 27, 2020

      I won’t let it put me off track. It took me a few days to find my footing again, but I’m okay now. The flicker was always a fantasy., and my mind knows it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. inspiredbythedivine1
    July 27, 2020

    I’ve a step-father who was horrible to me for the first 20 years of my life whom I’ve not seen in about 15 years by choice. I recently found out he has Alzheimer’s disease. I’m torn over my feelings about it though I’ve no intent to go and see him. I understand your feelings.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. karenjane
    July 27, 2020

    It’s very sad what is happening to your Grandfather, but 20 years is a long time to have not seen your family, and during that time I think you have tried so very hard to become the lovely person you want to be, unconstrained by family expectations. Please don’t look back with much regret, and don’t let yourself become anxious/depressed etc again. Family dynamics can be more destructive than we realise at first, and along with feelings of guilt, do much damage. I have step siblings, & a half brother & sister (who have fallen out with their Mum, my step Mum), & sometimes the effort involved in not saying the wrong thing to someone is so enormous I could explode. I hadn’t seen my eldest step sister for a few years before she died – & have no regrets, as for many years she was horrible to me. I feel sad that she died young, but refuse to dwell on it. Of course, your circumstances are different, but I hope, as Helen Devries mentioned, you do not get put off the track you are on. Much love. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 27, 2020

      Thanks, Karen Jane πŸ™‚ You’re right, then more right, then right again! I know there’s no amount of wishful thinking or self delusion that can change the reality of how toxic and destructive my family relationships were. And I know distance was and is the best way to deal with those circumstances.

      Like

  9. Diana MacPherson
    July 28, 2020

    Yeah that would be jarring even if you are nothing like your grandfather. My family in Canada aren’t biological relatives and we have pretty much mutually disowned one another because we are very different people. For instance, I’m not white trash. I’m also not religious. Oh and I value education and critical thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 28, 2020

      Ever since childhood I felt very much like a foreigner in my family, and technically I was because my formative years were spent in a different culture to all of them. Did you grow up in NZ or in Canada?

      Like

      • Diana MacPherson
        July 28, 2020

        I grew up in Canada. My father is Canadian and my mom is from NZ but my father was adopted. Even my biological relatives are very different from me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        July 28, 2020

        And did you relate to one culture more than the other or neither?

        Like

      • Diana MacPherson
        July 28, 2020

        The two cultures are similar enough I think that they blend. I grew up poor so even phone calls there were rare. I didn’t visit until I was 24 to take care of my nana’s affairs when she died and I didn’t meet my nana or aunt (who lives in the US) until I was 10 and they visited Canada. But I consider myself typically Canadian.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. acflory
    July 28, 2020

    I’m sorry, Pinky. Even if you were estranged, even if he was the worst grandfather of all time, family is family. I never got on with my mother. Really. Never. But I was very lucky to be able to forgive her and be the one to show love on the night before she died. I didn’t expect her to die, so I feel doubly glad that I let myself forgive.
    You can’t reconcile with him, but perhaps you can forgive him. -hugs-

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 28, 2020

      I accept that he was a person of his time and of a very particular world. That limited his range of reactions. I do sometimes wonder how things could have been, and if by forgiveness you mean understanding things could not have been different, then I’ve managed that (despite the occasional relapse) πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        July 28, 2020

        yes, that’s forgiveness, and in time he’ll become an irrelevance. -hugs-

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Steve Ruis
    July 28, 2020

    Being one of those “old people” I am taking due notice of any and all precautions. I do not wish this disease on anyone … well, except maybe Donald Trump. So, I was glad to hear that your grandfather’s demise was “premature.”

    And, I have to comment on your new blog photo, which is “Day of the Triffids-esque.” It seems like you are being attacked by giant rhododendrons. My first reaction was “Run, Pink, Run!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Diana MacPherson
      July 28, 2020

      Haha Re Triffids. To me it looks like he is friends with them and they make up his flower army.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 28, 2020

      I’m glad you’re taking precautions! We’ve decided confinement is still the best policy for us.
      As for the picture, I was going for my head being one of the flowers in a sort of Frida Kahlo way (as in Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace) πŸ˜€

      Like

  12. Bela Johnson
    August 2, 2020

    We share similar familial sentiments. In my case, it was my father, who wrote me a poison pen letter about a month before he died. It took my breath away. And so we give ourselves that understanding, and lucky us to have found loving partners. Yes. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 3, 2020

      Absolutely! The hardest part for me, which I’m working on, is a desire for justice or some sort of fairness that’s at my core. So my instinct, instead of just accepting things as they are, is to dwell over how things could/should have been. But as I said, I’m working hard to let it all go πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bela Johnson
        August 3, 2020

        Oh, tell me about it! Justice and fairness are very much core to me, as well! Though the past holds hardly any thrall over me anymore. Nothing to be done about it. And, had I different origins, I would not be who I am now. And I certainly might not have sought truth and justice from a young age, as I did in this case. I might not have been nearly as sensitive to suffering and beauty. And I’m glad I survived to help others and to understand things more profoundly than many ever think to do. Aloha.

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on July 27, 2020 by in life, thinking aloud and tagged , , , , .
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