On Monday, April 8, 2019, my beloved grandmother slipped away peacefully; there was no pain, no struggle, just a quiet release of her soul from its earthly body. For that, I am grateful. I know it could have been worse. It could have been everything I was praying it wouldn’t be. My Dad was praying with her, Alan Jackson was singing ‘Old Rugged Cross’, and she was taken Home to be with Jesus.
If you’d asked me on March 13th, on that overcast, chilly morning, did I think she was going to be gone within a month? I would have told you no. I would have said, no, I think she just needs some form of medical help. I did not anticipate the diagnosis we were presented with, nor did I anticipate her death.
I never wanted this.
But, God had different plans for His child, and while I didn’t want to lose her, clearly, He decided that she was needed in Heaven and that her time on earth had come to an end. She’s in a better place, now, and for that I will always be grateful, but the sting of it is still there. It’s been a little over a week since her funeral on the eleventh and I still feel like she should be here with me, with us.
I will always believe that my purpose here on earth was tied to hers in some way. We spent so long together. I went through hell for her and with her, and the end was no different. But I knew I’d never be able to watch her pass. That was beyond my capabilities. So, I was with her as long as I was able to be, and when I could no longer bear the sight of her, I kissed her head, and told her I’d be back later. I didn’t know I wouldn’t get a later or I might not have left when I did.
I’ve made a new friend, these days. Grief. I don’t think I like it very much. It sort of hurts, makes the bad days worse, makes them seem endless, and I’ve entertained thoughts I didn’t particularly care for. Thoughts I knew my Nan would not be happy with me for but those are personal and I don’t want to share them. Nothing bad just considered things that would have hurt more than help.
Grief isn’t much like the tide.
It doesn’t ebb and flow.
It’s a tsunami. It’s that moment when the ocean recedes, when the pressure builds, and releases like a spring uncoiling, sending water everywhere. And, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Grief isn’t a friend. Grief is the absence of a friend.
Grief is wondering if you’ll ever be able to look at her watch without remembering how much she loved it. It’s wondering if you’ll ever be able to look at her stuff without it hurting. Grief is not being able to walk in her house. Grief is knowing you have to pack her stuff into boxes. Grief is knowing the only shopping you have to do, now, is your own. Grief is knowing that Mother’s Day, her birthday, and Christmas are going to suck because you don’t have buy her anything. Grief is the pain of knowing that she’s not there.
Grief is wondering if you’ll ever see color again.
Grief makes the world gray.