My grandmother died a week ago today. I have four grandmothers, and I have always known that two of their deaths would shake me to my core, I just never wanted to believe the reality of it. The latter I don’t want to think about. But the first, my gram, who died as four cardinals flocked to her window hurts in a way I can’t describe.
She was the last link to my birth mother. My mother’s mother. And now she’s gone.
I’m terrible at it.
I’ve been teetering between bursting into tears and a total lack of empathy for seven days now. It took me six years to grieve my mom’s death, and here I am again, a full-blown adult unable to grapple with the finality of it all. Gram is gone and it feels like mom is gone all over again.
How do you deal with that? How do you process that? How do you keep on living your life and working hard when it feels like a tiny part of you has ceased existing? No matter how much I’ve tried, I haven’t been able to get that tiny part of me spinning again.
And I want to cry. I want to scream and kick and cry and talk about how awful it all feels but I can’t. I don’t know how. I also don’t feel like my feelings are justified. Why do I feel so deeply about this?
Is it because I will never have another conversation with my gram about tomato plant care, or never receive a hand-knit blanket in the mail from her? Or is it because I’ll never have her look at me with those dreamy lashes, gasp, and say, “oh, Syd. You look just like Caroline.”?
I don’t know, I just know it’s infuriating. It makes me want to blast Kings of Leon, cut my hair and never make another friend. I might do two of those things.
I’m very grateful for the people who have surrounded me in this time. My parents, my older sister, my roommate, who has helped me walk the fine line of laying on the couch and socializing. But if I’m honest (and this honesty scares even me a bit), I’m not going to be “fine” for a while.
It’s very likely I’m going to have a little edge on my shoulder for a few weeks. Maybe a few months. It won’t last forever – this feeling and a crushing inability to fully grasp at it, hold on to it, then let it go. I have to continue working. I have to continue paying rent and writing and making friends and buying toiletries.
It all has to continue. This I know.
The tree outside my window is going to keep growing leaves. The grass outside is going to continue getting green. I’m probably going to get annoyed at the people yelling outside my window this Saturday night. My bike still needs a new gear-shifter, and the need to impulsively buy more house plants may grip me once again.
Life will go on. I will miss gram. I will miss my mom. But, over time, the missing will shrink and change and I’ll continue getting coffee at my favorite shop. I’ll probably find another creative way to cut my budget. I’ll keep brainstorming ways to build a better business. And I’ll keep trying to live a life I’m proud of. One I’m sure my gram would say “I’m just so proud of ya” as well.
In the meantime: Kings of Leon.