I don’t usually write about heavy topics here (or publicly). Still, I share these words from the heart as I process the recent loss of my grandmother. It’s part of my process, but maybe it can be part of someone else’s process too.
Even though we have given grief a definition and thrown the word in with all the rest, grief shows up differently for everyone. It’s like a shadow that takes many forms, hides, and reappears as it pleases.
When we lose someone we love, we are hit with a new, harsh reality that our loved one as we knew him/her no longer exists. In my case, my head got stuck on the thought of no more possibilities. Before there was always a reunion to look forward to, memories to be made, stories to be told… all possibilities. Death throws in a period and leaves us with the stale taste of finite. All of the memories we had instantly quadruple in value as the source is no longer producing. Everything feels fragile, and you immediately need more, and it tears you apart to know that’s not possible.
No matter how we see it, death is extremely difficult (impossible?) to grasp. I still mourn my grandfather’s death, and I remember being devastated when he passed when I was 14. When I think of him, I wish he could see who I grew up to be and how much of him I see in me.
Now, with Abuela, it is entirely different. I am thankful I had her for as long as I did, but with that time also comes the strengthening of a bond that now feels ripped away from the very center of my soul. The years were a blessing that allowed me to see her in a way I couldn’t have seen my grandpa at 14. We got to share life thoughts and worries together, like two adults. I am beyond thankful for this, but it hurts in a way I couldn’t have anticipated.
Even with all this time, how can it still feel like it wasn’t enough? Is there ever enough time? I smile amidst my tears as I imagine her rolling into heaven, updating my grandpa and uncle on the latest of who we became. Although, I know they know.
How little of death do we comprehend and how many things we invent and hold on to in a human attempt to ease a pain that has no known eraser. I’ve been told to sit with my pain, greet it and embrace it for a moment. I say hello to it with a hint of honor, as I know I feel it because I was blessed with so much love and joy. How can I hate a feeling that’s a result of the very purpose of our living?
We humans can be so magnificent yet such limited creatures.
Still, we find ways to satisfy our thirst for comfort and reassurance, even if ever so fleetingly. Yesterday, it was the sound of her voice. Tomorrow it will be a Cardinal chirping hello in my window. Today, it is these words poured from the soul as I remain thinking of you.