Grief and Why It Is So Hard
When something personal happens in our household I always wonder if I should blog about it or if I should just keep things businesslike here. There are people who separate their work lives from their personal lives and I find that often that is just not possible when you are being read. Often I laugh and compare myself to Carrie Bradshaw. I literally sit at my computer and let the thoughts just pour out from time to time. Back in the day of Live Journal I even wrote there.
Recently we took a family vacation. By family I mean my parents came too and we had an amazing time visiting with extended family and enjoying a break from the crushing realities of home life. Before we left I had a cough and a bit of a runny nose that I said was just allergies and I kept pushing along. While away I got worse and before we even made it home we stopped at the local family doctor where I was diagnosed with bronchitis. Our oldest was sick as well and ended up with a bronchitis diagnosis a few days later. We got home and went to bed. I am not an early to bed kinda girl usually, but that night I am pretty certain it was still light outside when my eyes closed.
I woke the next morning to several messages on my phone and immediately I knew the worst had happened. I hardly had a voice and the idea of saying it out loud just did not even seen right. I made it out of the bedroom and told my husband that my last surviving grandparent; my Grandma who our house referred to as Mimi or Sunny had passed away. I knew no details, but that was enough to leave me a mess sitting in the middle of our living room floor.
The coming days were a blur. We had a very private memorial for her and from there it was like a new normal needed to be established… but how? This was not only my last grandparent but the boys last surviving great grandparent. Since Jack was not quite 1 (5 years) he lost 3 great grandparents. I had to be tough for him, but inside I was ripped in two.
Why is grief hard? Because here I sit nearly 4 weeks later still puffy eyed because Jack and I cried tonight. We cried hard. We mourned the idea that he is turning 6 on Sunday and has no great grandparents to celebrate with. We cried because it hurts and he said his brain was sad. We cried because we hadn’t really cried about this yet. It just didn’t seem “real” enough. 4 weeks…. that is how long it took me to finally lose it all and just break down. That is a long time really.
In that 4 weeks time we suffered 2 other losses as well. Our cat New Chew (named for a cartoon character) was attacked outside and didn’t survive and Kate our 8 1/2 year old German Shepherd passed away after slowly mourning herself to death after losing her mate in August. See even animals mourn. We all grieve but in our own ways.
Jack’s heart hurts, my heart hurts and I know that Patrick and Willie are hurting too. Sometimes I sit and wonder why things seem to happen in such huge bursts. How are people so tough and how people go through more than what we have been through and yet still are able to continue on with their new normal routines.
I knew that Jack’s birthday would be hard for him. I knew that he would struggle with not having a birthday party at several nursing homes and that he would have a hard time only going to visit our Aunt who has dementia. We went today. Took donuts and milk shakes and while there Jack was so quiet. This is not our boy who is usually loud and proud everywhere he goes. Jack sat and looked out the window and didn’t even want a donut. When we left I asked why he was so quiet and he said “mama I am scared Dorothy is going to pass away too.” My heart broke for him. Just 1 year ago he celebrated his birthday with such happiness with my Grandma and with Dorothy too. We did presents, cake, birthday hats and the whole nine yards. This year the reality has hit closer than ever before that at not even 6 years old our son realizes just how precious life is and how short it can be. I have told him over and over to appreciate every single day we have with our loved ones, but this drove the point home.
So yes, the blog has been quiet lately. The losses have been great and I have tried to turn my computer on to work and the words were just not there. Tonight after our cry I needed to just unwind and here I am after midnight with my alarm set for 7 AM knowing I have a party to plan but also knowing I will walk into my Grandma’s house for the first time in the morning and I am honestly not sure how to feel about that either. I do know this though, I will come home and put on some makeup and a smile because at the end of the day our loved ones wouldn’t want us to let a passing get in the way of a good old fashioned birthday party complete with 2 dozen cupcakes and various snacks and best of all new memories to create with our boys and a new normal life for us all.
Please excuse the jumbled mess of a post here and also excuse the lack of posts. We are starting our bathroom remodel series this week and our back to school guide will kick off the following. In between there we will be blogging our trip to Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Home of the official Mothman.