“Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.”— Alphonse de Lamartine
Grief. It has me. I’ve decided to cancel all scheduled posts for this week. I’ll be traveling out of state to say goodbye to my mamaw and the grieving process seems to be impeding my ability to concentrate on anything for very long. I had already been thinking that my medications weren’t working anymore, particularly my ADHD meds, so I have an appointment in the morning for a med check. But I can’t seem to write about anything that needs any substantial amount of research or focus. So, I’ve decided to do something else; only if I have the spoons.
Over the next couple of days, I’m going to document my grief. These posts will be much shorter and I’m honestly not going to put a lot of pressure on myself during this time. People talk about grief a lot, but they don’t talk about the ugly parts. The sobbing that can’t be stopped. An emotional pain so intense that it takes your breath away, literally. The helplessness and plain-old sadness. I’m just so fucking sad. My grandma passed on Friday and Saturday was the 4th anniversary of my grandfather’s (not married) death. I still haven’t dealt with my grief from that.
It was a little different. I was there the day he died. That vacuum of pain, so intense that it’s almost physical, in my chest started right away. Sitting in the same house where he just was, and now wasn’t, the loss was immediate and real. It’s different with my mamaw. As much as it hurts my heart, we have lived 2 states away from each other for almost 25 years. For the last 2 years, she hasn’t been well. Our monthly phone calls dwindled to none, though I was lucky enough to get a video call, a phone call, and a birthday message with her in the last few months.
I digress…we didn’t see each other that often and we didn’t talk on the phone anymore. So even though she’s gone, my mind is still sort of saying, “Prove it. It’s not real until it’s real.” Spoiler alert: that’s an ADHD thing. So, on Tuesday I leave to say good-bye to my grandma one last time and to get some closure for my broken heart. With closure comes acceptance and I suspect that is when the crippling grief will flood in.
So far, the grief has come in waves. In my mind, I had always imagined breaking down immediately upon finding out. Instead, I was rendered speechless and unsurprised. I realized quickly that I was in shock. The initial reaction wore off quickly and I excused myself from the phone to have a breakdown. I cried for a while and then…I was okay. It felt weird to still be posting on social media and watching movies with my husband. I should be devastated, no? She’s gone. The world should have stopped turning. But, instead, we just keep tweeting and binge-watching.
Then, last night, her face popped up in my news feed. I took one look at her kind smile and I felt the pain well up. It started at the tip of my toes and felt it land firmly in the pit of my chest. I cried and cried; her face burned in color in my brain. The realization that she’ll never smile at me like that again. I’ll never hug her in the middle of that living room or see her sitting in that chair, ever again. I couldn’t breathe or make a sound. It was just silent, wracked agony and tears. And then…I was okay again. The wave washed back out.
I’ve been okay for most of today; no crying spells, at least. I’m filled with dread instead. First for the drive ahead. I’m not good in cars, as a passenger or a driver. It makes my anxiety spike to the heavens. But what I’m really dreading is the pain to come. Seeing my dad for the first time; both of us bad about burying our pain deep. Going into her house without her in it. She hadn’t driven in many years and it was rare to come over and find her gone. Now she’ll be gone forever.
So I know the real grief is waiting for me, just around the corner and I’m scared of it. In deciding to travel home for the funeral, I decided to face it head-on. To show my brain the proof and let the grief in so that I can feel it and process it. She would want me to be happy. That’s all she ever wanted for any of us. She loved us and she wanted to see us smile. Before I can smile, I have to let the pain in. She’d get it.
Anyway, I’ll check back in a couple of days. There are lots of emotions involved with trips home and not all of them are good. The wonderful memories of my childhood (and there are so many of those) get all swirled in with the traumatic memories. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to feel and a lot to write about. Plus, a 5-hour drive in my near future to get lost in my own grieving head. Should be a blast! I hope to see you soon.
Love and light. Keep fighting the good fight.💜💜
Writing about living with ADHD and mental illness and my journey down a thriving path forward. Breaking stigmas and creating community, one post at a time.