Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Don't forget about me, I'm still down here

dancing at our wedding

I woke to my alarm this morning, and for a blissful and fleeting moment, I'd forgotten everything. That sweet ignorance before you're fully awake and aware, while everything is still warm and safe and OK.  But realization soon washed over me, and I remembered. My grandma passed away yesterday. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. A blood vessel burst in her brain. My grandpa found her collapsed in their home in Oregon on Sunday, and ten or so minutes after my mom arrived at the hospital to join her dad and brother Monday afternoon, my grandma was gone. She'd been waiting for her family to all be there, it seemed.

I tend to deal with grief by getting angry. After Edd passed, one year ago tomorrow, I would get angry when friends or aqcuaintances felt what I thought was an inappropriate level of grief for an "old" person. They'd lived a long life, they'd had what everyone hopes for. Their time wasn't cut short at a too-young age, like Edd's was and like many others younger than even him. We all hope to live to be old, right? And death is a natural part of life. That should provide some solace and peace, I thought. And it does, a little, but I now have more compassion and the understanding that a loss is a loss, no matter how full the life. This loss of my Grandma, my sweet, sweet and wonderful Grandma whom I just saw three weeks ago, has been a kick in the stomach that has left me without breath. With Edd it was horrible and traumatic and I cried a million tears, but there was time to emotionally prepare, in a way. But my Grandma was perfect and healthy one moment, and dying and gone the next.

I had such a wonderful time with her when they visited three weeks ago... she had an extra sweetness about her, and a few times while she was here she wrapped me up in a hug that lingered, and she rocked me back and forth and said "I love you sooooo much." I held her arms and told her how very soft her skin was and that she smelled like Grandma (my favorite smell). She showed me her new Kindle Fire (she always had the latest technology... coolest Grandma ever), and we had Hungarian Beef and Cabbage their last night here, and talked about the past and their memories. The next day I wrote this post, and my mom found it printed out on their kitchen counter when she got there yesterday.

I just can't believe my dear and wonderful Grandma is gone, the kindest woman I've known. A part of my life my whole life. I took her for granted. Never thought she'd go this soon. My sweet, sweet Grandma. My heart breaks for my Grandpa, who will be lost without her after 60 total years together, and for my mom... to suffer this incredible loss at exactly the one year mark since she lost her husband. "I lost my two greatest fans," she said. And it seems so unfair and so random and so mean. It makes me angry. I hope to come away from this place of anger, because I don't like to be here.

I had planned to write a one year memorial post for Edd this week, but I think now I need to just take a little time off from blogging. The rest of the week, at least, and then we'll see.

This song below is beautiful and a huge comfort. Last night I took a bath to calm me and sipped a glass of wine left over from the bottle of my Grandma's Beringer White Zinfandel, her favorite.  There was just enough left for one big glass, and I needed that last night. Thanks for saving it for me, Grandma. And I listened to this song, and my tears were as hot as the bath water and wouldn't stop coming.

In the Holy Kingdom 
angels sing a hymn
For all your good behavior 
they handed you your crown and wings
You don’t feel the sorrow; 
there’s no pain or fear
Don’t forget about me, don’t forget about me
I’m still down here 
in the shadowland, here where there’s doubt
Here where we must learn to live 
with what we live without

PS - thank you all for your incredibly kind comments on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook yesterday. I appreciated them all more than you'll ever know.

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