What does it all mean anyway?

I don’t even know who I’m talking to right now but this seemed as good a place as any to try and make sense of what I’m feeling.

I was prepared for it. Prepared for it in a very practical sense. Three hours before she died, I washed my dress for her funeral. It was this horribly formal, almost insensitive but necessary chore. I felt myself turning on the washing machine, but I felt nothing else.

When I found out she had passed, I cried. That seems like a very normal response to such an event, except I don’t usually cry when I’m grieving. I usually sit numbly trying to encourage my brain to feel. And then if I do cry, it’s because I’ve made myself cry. This time, though, it just happened. It felt as natural as a child’s giggle. I sobbed for her, for her pain, for her immediate absence in my life, for her family. For my mother; her sister. For the fact that she was not just my aunt, but my guide. She was the relative that I most resemble, in every sense. I felt an affinity with her that I haven’t felt with anyone else in my family.

It’s shit that she’s gone. It’s shit that I can’t even begin to explain what a perfect person she was, even though she had flaws. It’s shit that I didn’t ever get to tell her how much she meant to me. It’s shit that my mother is in hell right now. It’s shit that I have to write about her in the past tense.

I feel a sense of guilt that I just have to keep on living and she’s just not here anymore. It doesn’t seem right. Sometimes I see a total stranger laughing and I just want to shake them and tell them that she died and that no one anywhere should be laughing. Then I remember how ridiculous I’m being and I get envious. I even envy a past version of myself; a version that never knew this feeling.

The worst part is, I left it far too late to get to know her. We didn’t have enough time. Maybe that has protected me somehow. My mother is in the worst pain I have ever seen anyone experience. I didn’t know grief could be so physical.

I have pushed people away because I haven’t felt worthy of pity. I didn’t want it. I felt like I had a bond with her, an affinity that I couldn’t explain, but there should have been more words…we should have exchanged more words. And then there’s her children. I wish I had been closer with them. I feel useless, like I can’t help them. I can’t help them, because I don’t know how to.

Death is a certainty for us all. But it’s easier to accept my own inevitable demise than that of someone I love. And that’s a great thing. That’s a wonderful thing…that we come to love people so much that it’s the most simultaneously beautiful and terrifying thing to experience.

And that’s what I hold on to, in the darkest of times. I hold on to the fact that grief comes from love. It comes from the deepest, most enduring love.

 

36 thoughts on “What does it all mean anyway?

  1. Gary Lum says:

    I’m so very sorry to read of your loss and your outpouring of deep grief. You’re right though, the depth of grief reflect the depth of love. Hang in there. Thinking of you.

  2. Eileen says:

    Oh sweetie. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I can tell how much your aunt meant to you. And I to appreciate your comments about out of the depths of love comes deep sadness when that person is gone. As far as helping her children, just be there for them. Taking food to them if possible. Anything practical that you observe that they may need (don’t wait for them to ask, they won’t). Anyway, I’m here for you. I’m reading your posts and listening. Take care.

    • janeybgood says:

      Thank you so much. You are always so kind. That is very good advice, too. I have been conflicted about whether I should give them space or whether I should support them more.
      I hope you are well my friend. Thanks for your lovely comment.πŸ™‚

  3. dweezer19 says:

    Hugs Janey. I empathize and understand the range of emotions you are experiencing. Time is our true friend in these moments. Lifting you and your family up for comfort.

  4. floridaborne says:

    My heat goes out to you and your family. There is always something we think we should’ve said, or something we should’ve done differently.

    You loved her and that counts for more than you know.

  5. Melvin Ally says:

    Lost my Grandma last Dec and she meant the world to me. Hate talking about it and even writing this comment hurts. Stay strongπŸ™‚

  6. Apricots and Cream says:

    Hey I know what you mean. My dad died four weeks ago so I know what you’re going through. And it case it helps I suck at crying too. E-mail me if you need anything or just want to talk. We’re in the same boat.

    • janeybgood says:

      I am so so sorry to hear that. I really hope that you are coping okay, although it is totally normal to feel as if you aren’t. While I have been better in recent days, my mother is very sad.
      You can email me at any time if you would like to talk. I will be thinking of you and sending you the warmest of thoughtsπŸ™‚

  7. SM says:

    Hey Janey, I was thinking about you, as a friend who’s blog I used to read when I was very much active in the community. I’ve been busy lately. I didn’t remember the name of your blog, but remembered your username, typed it as URL and was introduced to “blog not found”; went to Gravatar and came here.

    I thought I’d ask about your well-being when I came here, but it won’t make much sense. I usually don’t know what to say in such situations, I just hug and sit by their side.

    PS: It’s fine if you don’t recognise me, with the way I’ve been publishing iterations of my blog and all. Just know that it’s a friend you haven’t been in contact with for a while, and that he remembers you and is concerned. Hope it helps, even if just a little.πŸ™‚

    • janeybgood says:

      Helllllooooo! It is so lovely to hear from you, of course I remember you! You have always been so kind to me πŸ˜€
      It’s really good to hear from you. How have you been? Are you blogging anymore?
      I am doing okay. It’s been a tough few months but I seem to be getting through the worst of it.
      So glad to hear from you πŸ˜„

      • SM says:

        Wow! Talk about having good memory. This is literally a “pleasant surprise”. I didn’t expect you to remember. Haha.

        I’m fine. Last few years have been something. Ups and Downs, etc. But that’s another story. The exciting part is that I’ve finally thought about what I’d like to do in future. Having a dream – I’ll ping you when I write about it.πŸ˜€

        Yes, I’m blogging. I might have found a name for the blog that I can use for years to come, I think, instead of going for new ones every few months. As for the looks, not quite there.

        I’m glad that you’re doing better now, and glad to hear from you. Note: You’re still as enthusiastic as ever; didn’t fail in making me smile even after such a long time.πŸ™‚

      • janeybgood says:

        So sorry to disappear again! Thanks for your kindness. I am sorry to hear that you have had some tough experiences in the last while, but glad to see you have come out the other side πŸ˜€
        I have a break from work for a while so I hope to be around more. I can catch up properly with your blogπŸ™‚

  8. Chelly says:

    Oh Janey, I’m so sorry πŸ˜™β€ I lost my granny five years ago and my first reaction was anger. I was angry with her and I kept asking her why did she leave me that day of all days. I did cry but it felt fake. And I felt guilty when I didn’t cry, but when I finally did cry for real, I was angry at myself for being so selfish. I actually thought it was selfish of me to cry. I didn’t feel like I knew her well enough to feel so much grief. I also think I denied it for a long time, so when I finally accepted that she was gone, it was such a relief to have that weight off my shoulders, and I really cried then. 😊 It’s so weird, I felt guilty about that too! Now I can laugh and smile in her memory and things that used to annoy me about her just make me laugh now! and I just know she’s with me all the time. I feel her at my left shoulder sometimes when I’m playing the piano, and I know that sounds weird but I really do believe she’s there 😊

    Losing her made me appreciate the good people in my life though, and I always try to cherish every moment with them. I really hope your mum is ok, it’s the worst when you don’t know what to say or do to help. My best friend lost her granny recently and they basically lived right beside each other so they were really close and I just want to hug her and take all her pain away, but I guess I just have to be there while she figures it all out herself. Sometimes I feel like I love people too deeply because it hurts so much when they leave, but we can’t think like that because wouldn’t it be worse if we never knew what it felt like to love them or be loved so much? My life is definitely way better having met my granny, she was such a strong, proud woman and I don’t think I would have kept up piano if it wasn’t for her constant encouragement. 😊
    Sending you lots of love and hugs πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›

    • janeybgood says:

      That is really lovely, thank you so so muchπŸ™‚
      I’m sorry about your granny. Actually, I called my granny that and I’ve never heard any of my friends use that term! It’s lovely, isn’t it?
      I think losing someone is the hardest thing to experience. I’m like you; I think I love my close ones almost too much. I can’t deal with it when anything negative happens to them. When my aunt died, my sister kept saying “I’m upset because I feel sorry for her. I feel awful that this happened to her, that she has experienced death.” She thought it made no sense, but actually I thought she summed up how I felt exactly. I just hate that it happened to her. She was such a beautiful, selfless person.
      As time is moving on, we’re all getting a little better. Like you, I’m remembering her fondly now and it hurts a little less when I think of her….although I did have a huge sobbing session the other day because I got offered an extension on my contract in school and I just wanted to tell her (she was a teacher too).
      I hope all is well with you! The weather is amazing isn’t it??
      Thanks, as always, for being a voice of comfort and reason in my very complicated lifeπŸ™‚

      • Chelly says:

        Yes I’ve always called her Granny! most of my friends say nana or nanny though which just sounds weird when I say it πŸ˜„ ya, that’s the most time I want to see my granny, when I have something to tell her that I know she would be so proud of 😊 that’s great that you got an extension though, πŸŽ‰ it’s nice to have something go right when everything else is upside down! Don’t be afraid to congratulate yourself for it ☺
        Oh the weather is gorgeous! I’m loving the summer nights, straight after the sun goes down, they’re so pretty! 😊 Aw, I’m glad to be a comfort, even if it only helps for a minute or two xx

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