I haven't written much about my grandmother's death recently. I can honestly say that there was kind of a lull between grieving the initial loss and whatever this wave of grief is called. Too, I felt like people were kind of over me talking about my grief, so I just kind of put that aside for awhile.
I can't quite pinpoint when this stage of grief started to seep into my life. Goodness knows I do not have time for weeping these days. With both of my kids out of school, much of my time is taken up with them and trying to clean out my house. Oh, then there is my part-time job that seems to have gone from 10 hours a week to about 20. There is a myriad of other things, but I don't have time to lay them all out.
Ka-boom. Life explodes and now I'm supposed to grapple with this? Again?
If I hadn't decided to start cleaning out and organizing my house, I may have delayed this process a bit longer, but I happen to be a Type A personality that absolutely hits the ceiling after seeing clutter for more than, um, a few days. Since it had been a few months, surely some of you know how I must have felt by then...
I had to organize all my old family pictures after doing a 90th birthday photo book for my grandfather. What I didn't expect to find were some pictures of my grandmother (not this grandfather's wife) lumped into the pile. There were a few of her with my dad and a lot of her and me throughout my life. It had been a few weeks since I had made her photo tribute book (I had been looking at pictures so much that I was kind of immune at this point) and I guess seeing them again just brought up the fact that she is still not here.
See, the first go round, it was really about saying good-bye and mourning her loss at that time. Now the grief is about mourning the fact that she is never coming back. It's the Year of Firsts -- all those events that normally she would be a part of that she now won't. It affects me in small ways -- moments when I would love to have her encouragement during times of stress (i.e. NOW) and I cannot pick up the phone to hear her voice. It affects me in big ways -- knowing that we are preparing to go the same beach we have all gathered for 30 years and she will not be physically present. She will not be there to play in the sand with my daughters, to tell me stories about Howard, to stroke my hair as I lay my head in her lap. I will not hear, You are my treasure. I will not see the pride in her eyes when I walk into the room. And I will not feel her arms around me as, even in her frailest state, she was able to communicate such strength as she hugged me.
I have moments again that are just overwhelmingly saddening.
I'm sure that this grief will ebb and flow with time, but if I don't take it in as it comes, I will not be healthy. Living this grief out loud helps me heal. It becomes a testament to the fact that as humans, no matter what is deemed accepted or expected, we can't just get over loss like this in two to three week's time. Love and loss run deep and no matter that we know that our loved one is in Heaven, the fact remains that he or she is not walking with us. That takes some getting used to, for everyone.
The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.
-Nike running poster