Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Wave of Permanency

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


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. Grief is a funny and complicated thing - it very much goes in stages. After losing my father nine years ago, I can say that the first year is always the hardest. You never forget them, ever, but time does allow you to feel a joy in them rather than just sadness at their absence. I will pray for this anguish and intense grief to get to a point where it doesn't hurt so much anymore.

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire

  2. Today is the one month anniversary of the passing of my dad...the pain is as strong today as a month ago. Unexpectedly, the tears will start flowing and complete strangers look at me like I'm weird. It IS difficult, isn't it....but even more so when I see my wee mom sitting there,..quietly, with the tears running down her cheeks, not saying a word. It's hard.

  3. Her legacy will always be a part of you. May you find God's comfort in the midst of all of this.

  4. Thanks friend. I am so glad to know a bit more about what's going on with you. Happy to "keep in touch" one way or another. I am so sorry about your loss. What a heavy burden. My love goes out to you tonight.

  5. It doesn't go away, but it does get easier. Celebrate the small victories. I recently ran into someone I hadn't seen in couple of years. After inquiring whether we still live in the same place, she asked where my mother is living. I was actually able to tell her of my mother's passing without choking up or breaking down, a first for me. I took that as a sign of healing. I did blink back a few tears when I got away from her, but, still, it's progress. The first year, going through the "firsts" was the pits, but in some cases the dreading was worse than the actual day. My pastor said the more or deeper you loved, the harder the loss will be. I believe it. Just know that your grief is a testament to your love and your relationship. Right now I"m overwhelmed with the questions I wish I'd asked. Sigh. Hang in there and I'll do the same. :)

  6. I understand. I got married 2.5 months after my grandmother passed away. It frustrated me that she never got to meet my husband, she didn't see my wedding..then I got pregnant. Bunny got here after the Year of Firsts, but it didn't stop the tears when I realized she isn't here to see her or any of my future children. Thank God I know where she went, and I know she'll meet them someday.


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