Revenge is Necessary will publish December 6, 2020 and be available in paperback and as eBook on all major online outlets. You can pre-order signed copies directly through Bill Mathis for $18.00 shipped. Use PayPal: http://paypal.me/WilliamRMathis
After they finished eating the pizza, Gayle spoke about Shaw’s condition. “Dad fell asleep before we left. He could slip into a coma anytime now. It’s unlikely he will be conscious again.” She stood from the loveseat as if she was going to give a lecture to a group of students. “We think he will die in in the next five days. Hospice nurses are in charge now.” She looked at each person as if to see how they were handling that information. No one burst out crying. “There are five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. What step do you think we are in now?” She sat down and waited. “Each of us doesn’t have to be at the same stage,” she added.
“Can it be a combination?” Mary asked. “Right now, I feel anger, plus depression at not being able to do something, to fix it. Is that okay?”
“It’s absolutely all right. Grief is not linear. It can go in circles, out of order and interweave. The important thing is to learn to recognize it and acknowledge it, guilt-free. It’s human.” Gayle reached over and patted her mom who was sitting next to her.
Connie scooted forward. “Thank you, Gayle. I’m so glad we have your expertise with us.” She took a big breath. “I really feel a mix. Definitely some denial, how could he do this, act this way, be so cold? That, mixed with anger. Part of me wants to bargain, to have a chance to work all this out earlier, go back in time, and part of me wants to move on. To accept it and get going with what’s next. I’m learning there’s a lot about this place and operation I know nothing of…”
“Mom, kids,” Gayle glanced around the room, then took her mother’s hand. “Don’t rush the steps. Don’t try to speed the process up or think a person can skip some of the steps. Know that you will go through each one at some time or another. My point is, in your hurry to move on, don’t bury them. It’s trite, but we will need to take our lives one day at a time for a long time.”
Ellen got several bottles of beer and walked around the family room, refilling glasses. “As for me…” She sat down. “Well, Mary and I, being older than the rest of you, Dad doesn’t seem that old. Many friends our age have even older parents while some have parents in their seventies who are dying. So, the fact that our father is dying at this age may not feel the same as for you younger kids.” She sipped her glass, twisted a finger in her blonde-gray hair. “I guess I’m trying to say, it’s not Dad’s age that’s shocking, it’s how he chose to act.” She slammed her glass on the end table and jerked herself to a stand. “It’s how the damn fool chose to end his life. It just makes me so angry…” She threw her hands up in the air. “Guess that means I’m in the anger stage.” She smacked one hand into another and shook her fist at the window. “Damn him. Just god damn him. I so want to hit something.”
“Me, too. Me, too.” More me toos filled the air.
Junior pulled Jens to his feet. “Come on, Jens.” They ran out the back door and returned, carrying a fifty-pound bag of seed corn they double-bagged into a burlap sack. Junior set it on the kitchen table, pulled the chairs back and began punching it, hard. Jens went to the other side of the table to brace the bag upright. Junior grunted as he hit. He danced around like a boxer, swinging and swinging, till he broke away and sagged into an easy chair, crying.
Ellen stepped up next, only she screamed and yelled, “Damn. You. Dad. Damn you. Why? Why? Why?”
Barely a word was spoken by the others as each adult child punched the bag. Some hard, some soft. Some speaking. All with emotion. Connie was the last family member to step up. The others wiped their eyes and gathered behind her.
“Go, Mom,” Gayle whispered. “Let it out.”
Connie screeched, “A—i— i—i.” It was almost blood-curdling. She karate-chopped the bag, shouting out each hit. “One…Two…Three…Four…Five…” At ten, she stopped and fell back into the waiting arms of her seven children. Somehow, they managed to fold to the floor in a heap of hugs and sniffles.
Don’t miss the first virtual book launch or Revenge is Necessary, tonight, December 10, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Join through this Facebook Live link: https://www.facebook.com/events/2388735644606526. There will be prizes, several short readings and I will be interviewed by Kathie Giorgio, author, my writing coach and head of All Writers Workshop. Invite your friends!