I re-read my post about grief last night and realized that a lot of it was very self-centered. I wrote it from a place of honesty, how I was feeling at that very second. Very self-pitying. Like I’m sorry for my own loss. And that IS how I feel right now. It made me think about the nature of grief and how weird it is. I mean there are so many types. When I’ve had someone close to me die this is young or unexpected, I have a tendency not to look at how their death will impact my life but how it is stopping their life. I feel almost embarrassed for the person (not really embarrassed but that’s the closest thing to the emotion I feel) because they were likely intending to do some mundane thing in the near future that will not happen now. They still had goals and ambitions. Laundry to do, groceries to buy, baby showers to attend. All of it is gone and I am left wondering why that is.
With Nana though, I don’t feel sorry for her. Nana went sooner than we wanted her to, probably sooner than she’d planned but she died at 81. Nana had a full life and a lot of people who loved her. She lived a successful life and was a pillar of our family. She was very funny, very calm, very active and very smart. She loved us well and we loved her right back. She always sent a card and she always made us meals and she always showed up. My regrets with Nana are that there are times I focused on silly things like friends or my job, things and people that no longer exist in my life. Nana was still there and there were times I COULD have had with her that I didn’t because other things seemed more important. But I am not a person who likes to live with regret. I feel like when there are times you behave in a way that you are not proud of, you have to learn the lesson from it, not do it again and push forward. I have seen emotions like “regret” and “guilt” destroy a person’s life in front of my eyes and I won’t do it to myself nor would she want me to. It doesn’t stop me from wishing I had a little more time though and kicking myself for wasting some of the time I did have.
So with Nana’s passing, I moreso feel sorry for myself and for my family. Nana wasn’t afraid to die because she had faith that she would be going to paradise. She had faith that she’d rejoin her loved ones in Heaven and then meet us there some day. And I know that’s exactly what happened. There is no way that a person’s faith can be as strong as hers was and NOT be what ends up happening. For her. I’m not making claims on what is right or wrong in regards to religion but I can definitely say that Nana is in Heaven and she is making me feel that every day. I know she’s in a better place.
So all there is is for me to feel sorry for myself. Because I am still here and she is not, at least not tangibly. I made a joke the other day about how I’m worried that now that she’s gone, who will say prayers for me. My cousin told me to say my own damn prayers. And she’s right, and I actually do. I grew up saying my prayers before I went to sleep (almost) every night. When I fell away from the church, I had a hard time with prayers because it felt disingenuous to pray to a God I wasn’t sure I believed in using Catholic prayers that I didn’t know how I felt about. A few years ago though, I realized that prayer is, at the very least, meditation and sending good thoughts out into the universe for people. However you choose to get into that mindset is your own personal way into making time for those kinds of thoughts. Some people put out a ceremonial rug and kneel on it. Some people make the sign of the cross and say some the Our Father and Hail Mary as a way to “get into” the headspace of saying your prayers. This is what I do. I am not a “good Catholic”. I don’t even really identify as “Catholic” anymore except by way of heritage and family ties. So I started saying my prayers again a few years ago and now I don’t necessarily need to “find a way in”. I just say prayers all day long whenever I think of someone. And Nana has been in my prayers all day long every single day for a very long time. So I’ve done a lot of thinking about Nana and her situation. I’ve done a lot of praying for her return to health and then for her return to Heaven.
But now it’s time for me to grieve. The loss is now mine. Nana is done with her earthly pain. And now I miss having a cup of tea and a piece of cake with her. I miss the smell of her house on Thanksgiving. I miss taking a tour of her house to see what she’s got up for the current holiday. I miss the way she accepted people as they came. I miss her love of Turner Classic Movies. I miss the way she had a set routine and nothing or no one would break her of it. She had a way about her that was independent, clear-thinking, loving and perfunctory. She was neat and tidy in appearance, in mind, spirit and home. No chaos about Nana at all. She handled everything in her life the right way. No crying or carrying on with her. She was a very calming person and actually a very good friend. I feel lucky to have gotten to know her as a friend AND as my Grandma.
I’m sorry if all of this is like WAY TOO MUCH. I just need to kind of take some of this stuff off of my shoulders. I think I might post this as a private entry in this blog. I don’t know. Anyway, if I don’t thanks for reading. More blahblahblah later.
P.S. I don’t want anyone to worry about me. I am actually okay, I just like to deal with stuff NOW. I hate to deal with stuff later. So when stuff like this happens, I like to really take it on and feel what I’m feeling and take a little time to wallow in it and sort out my feelings. I WILL be okay, I just need to process this grief as it comes and in whatever form it comes. No stiff upper lip here.
P.S. #2 I just want to say that I hope I can be as awesome as either of my Grandmas someday. Man am I blessed with awesome Grandmas haha.