Day by Day

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Although our new above ground pool arrived (and is only about ALMOST halfway full after about 9 hours)…the excitement was overshadowed by everything else that is going on in my life right now.

My grandmother passed away on Saturday night. My favorite cat ran away Monday. Today there was drama between two people I care deeply for.

By 2 pm, I collapsed in bed for a nap. I awoke feeling even worse…and kept plugging on.

I do not know if the way I deal with grief is normal. I have lost many people in my 32 years…some just acquaintances from my high school years, my only living great-grandmothers, an uncle, a few great aunts and uncles, my daughter’s father…and it never seems to get easier to handle the pain once they are gone.

I tend to shut down. I am not in denial. I am not in shock. I just simply can’t handle the overwhelming emotions that come with losing someone that I love. My mind is full of the years to come without the person. I think of all of the things that they won’t be present for…I feel the absence of my grandmother so deeply, its so entirely consuming that I simply don’t know how to grieve.

I have managed to keep busy. It is what I do best…I find a million things to do to keep my mind off her passing. I have spoken to family. I have called friends. I have checked in with my mom on the days that I haven’t gone to see her. I have cried. I’ve rocked back in forth and buried my head in my chest and wept. I have jumped on the elliptical trainer and blasted rock music and cried so hard I almost fell off the machine.

Is this normal? I don’t know. But it works for me.

Would it have been any easier to mourn her loss if she died after a long, complicated, miserable illness? I don’t know. I watched both of my great grandmothers waste away to nothing before their deaths. I knew it was coming. It didn’t make it any easier to say goodbye at their funerals. In a way, I think it was worse, knowing that it was coming. Knowing I was losing them, mourning the loss before it happened…it was traumatic.

My grandmother went quickly. She sustained a head injury during the accident that knocked her unconscious and she didn’t regain consciousness before she passed away. We don’t think she felt any pain. That’s the way she would have wanted to go – quickly.

I’m worried about my mother…my grandmother was her best friend. They spent almost every day together. She was a fixture at my parent’s house – which I visit a few times a week. When I went over there on Monday, it struck me that I would never walk in the front door and see her asleep on the couch again. I had to choke back tears.

My mother has been busy preparing for the service. Making arrangements, notifying family members and friends…meetings at the church to arrange the memorial, visiting the medical examiner’s office. She is grieving hard. I am afraid for her, for the day after the memorial service, when there’s nothing left to do.

I have been thinking this week about how lucky I am to be at home right now. If I were still working, I would have had to return to work today if I didn’t have any vacation days saved up – which I never did. I began thinking about why I quit working in the first place – to live a fuller, more happy life. If I were still working, I wouldn’t be so available to my mother during this time. My mother and uncle will be cleaning out my grandmother’s house and trying to fix it up, and I will have all the time in the world to help them. That makes me very happy…

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