Thursday, September 2, 2010
My grandmother died early this morning. She was 94. This wasn't shocking news and it wasn't unfair. She had lived a long, full life with more happy times than sad. I had the gift of her love and care for many, many years. Still the news upset me.
I got the call when I was on my way to work. In a split second, I decided that I didn't want to turn around and return to my empty apartment to be sad all day. I had been fighting to stay positive ever since I pulled away from my son's dormitory parking lot 12 days ago. What would happen if my exterior was punctured even slightly by a little sadness trying to escape? I kept walking toward the train to work. I wanted the distraction and the company more than I wanted to mourn.
I held my news until the end of the day when I told my boss. I had to tell her because I wasn't sure what travel plans I might need to make and how they would impact my day tomorrow. I took my time packing up and shuffled off to the subway.
On the train, I read blogs, checked email, sent email and played Words With Friends. I didn't sit still or quietly. I called my best friend on my walk home from the train and not a single sad thought was able to break through. I stopped at the store and bought some candy corns.
I arrived home and devoured the candy corns. I wasn't hungry, but I couldn't stop eating them until I felt queasy from too much sugar. I walked my dog and said hi to strangers I passed on the street. I made dinner and cleaned the kitchen. And the bathroom.
I sat down on the futon and closed my eyes, but I didn't sleep. Instead I sat still and quietly and began to feel sad, scared and alone in my big empty apartment. The unsympathetic echoes of my sobs hit my core like hail stones, sending cold concentric ripples of grief outward from there. I tried to hold time up, slow it down, but my son grew up and left home. I began to age. My mother figures died one by one until only my aunt and ex-stepmother remained. I came home from work and I sat sad, scared and alone.
Photo by basegreen