Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm a little lost

It's been two weeks since my Grandma passed away. And I've been able to go about life and do the things that must be done. It's certainly been easier since Doc has picked up the slack and has been working tirelessly around the house (outside and in). But every now and then I dip a toe in the pool of grief and feel the sadness. Sometimes I can withdraw my foot. Sometimes the grief pulls me under.

If you've been a long time visitor here, you know that since this blog started, I've lost my Grandpa, my Aunt Gail, and now Grandma Jean. When I lost Grandpa and Gail, I was working at my old job, which was a nightmare. My previous boss was domineering and manipulative. I basically had to turn off my emotions and go into survival mode to continue to work for her. For four years. The longer I worked there the easier it was not to feel things. This made work easier, but family life...well, I guess it was easier too. I wasn't feeling the pain. Or the joy. But I lost two people who were very dear to me and I couldn't grieve for them. I didn't dare, lest I come completely undone.

Since I've moved to my new job, almost three years ago, I've started to defrost. Here I've discovered I'm able to be myself and react naturally with out running every event through a processor to judge whether or not this reaction or that would cause me more trouble or more work. Over time, I've been able to start feeling things again. This came to a head last month when I got irregular results on an annual exam at the doctor's office.

Of course, I found out about the test a month prior to going back to the doctor to discuss it. So I had a lot of time to really face up to my life and see if it was going in the direction it should be. It wasn't. Inspired by the possibility that I might be seriously ill in the near future and my emotional awakening, I started cleaning my emotional house. As it turns out, the tests results aren't the death sentence I feared. But they were a wake-up call for me.

Since I lost Grandma, I have been feeling the full force of her passing. And it hurts. But I'm ok. I'm a little sensitive about grandma-related topics and sometimes I just want to curl up in one of her blankets and cry my eyes out. But this sensitivity brings about awareness. And it highlights the things about her that I loved and that I will miss. And those things I'm going to pick up and carry with me so that I'll be a bit more like her and then she'll still be with me.

I've started wearing perfume. I cleaned out my purse. Come payday, I'm going to stash a twenty in there and hide it from myself so that I can find it when funds are low. I'm wearing her beautiful nightgowns to bed instead of tee-shirts. I'm paying closer attention to the way my kids act and I want to make sure they are getting enough love and a bit more discipline. I'm standing my ground on personal issues that are important to me. I'm going to be more efficient. And every once in a while, I'm going to call on the river when I've only got three to a straight.

I'm going to do all these things in remembrance of her. I want her memory to be vibrant and three dimensional, close to me. I know she's gone and I'm a little lost without her. But if she were here, she'd tell me to stick close and don't get separated from the family. She'd say, it's ok to be sad but she'd advise that I might want to find something to do to perk me up. And I'll be on the look out for the good stuff while I try to handle the bad. I'll get out of the woods eventually, not as an empty shell, but rather as someone who has fully grieved and has been marked by the experience.


  1. Again, I'm sorry for your loss.

    Hang in there.

  2. Thanks, Cormac. I'm also a little lost without Friday Flash Fiction. I really enjoy the challenge there.

  3. Like Cormac, I am sorry for your loss. Hold those memories close, but don't let them envelop you. You will find your balance with time.

  4. That's a nice post, Flan. I can grok where your at-- "invisible emotional potholes" that you run o'er at odd intervals that can just throw U off th' tracks. The good news is the pain fades (eventually), and the important part is to keep on doing what you're doing. She was truely an individual, and I think of her as a sort of moving beacon of bright light along the dim Path of Life-- she brought warmth and illumination wherever she went. I'm both sorry for your loss, and also glad I had a chance to know her a little bit, too.

  5. Sorry to hear about Grandma Jean. :( And glad to hear that your test results were not what you thought they might be. I think you're in limbo now, it seemed to me to take a few weeks for the shock to wear off and the idea to sink in that our person is no longer here. Now comes the adjustment phase, and some days we're more successful at that than others. The good news is that you have supportive family, friends and co-workers and that's the best thing to have to get through it. :) Hang in there girl.

  6. Flan - <> - what a lot you've had to contend with.

    It's only natural to feel the loss of you Gran so keenly - but i love the way you are keeping her relationship with you alive, but surrounding yourself with her things.

    As for the medical tests, I had a similar think a while back, facing up to my own mortality. It shakes you up and forces you re-evaluate what's truly important in your life. I stopping being preoccupied with what I (mistakenly)thought I 'ought' to do and tried to aim for what made me happy (but not at the expense of my nearest and dearest.

    It's important to give yourself treats - I like the idea of stashing 'fun money' in your purse!

    Looking forward to getting back into FFF!


  7. Thanks, all...

    And Sue, I'm really anxious to get back to FFF. It gives me a lot of joy and something to focus on.

  8. You're doing exactly what I would recommend. Find something to do that would be a sign that she was here, she was loved and that her spirit is alive and well in you. I carry my mom with me every day and often think, "WWBD? What would Becky do?" I'm a better person for it and the world gets to still experience a little bit of what she brought to it. Hope your heart finds some peace.

  9. I meant to tell you earlier that I was sorry for your loss but I was busy trying to figure a way to break into your dreams. I'm thinking happy thoughts for you (always).

  10. You touched my heart and stirred my emotions. I am thankful and care for all who are your friends, who love and support you in times of grief and trouble and who share and contribute to your happy times. You have proven yourself to be a survivor and a worthy companion and friend. That's my girl. Love, Mom.