So, internet, it seems odd to me that this used to be my primary outlet for all things emotional whether it be minor irritations or actual tragedies. Lately, I haven't felt much like blogging, let alone, rehashing these most difficult times, but I thought I might give it a try again, seeing as it used to be so nice to vent here.
On December 11th, my grandfather died. He had been in and out of the hospital and rehab facilities and after long bouts with pneumonia, he finally decided that he just didn't want to be relocated back and forth from the hospital to rehab to home anymore and asked for hospice to be called in. I had been spending many weekends traveling to and from Charlotte to see him and around the end of October, realized that this was the beginning of the end. I didn't mind the trips so much as I minded not knowing if this one would be the LAST one.
After he made the decision was made for hospice to be brought in, Grandpa was back at the facility where he lived, although had been moved from Independent living to, Assisted Living, where he could received more constant care. This part, I think, irritated him more than the rest. Even when he was so sick he was hallucinating, he had a sense of humor about it. He laughed about believing that his favorite gameshow host, Pat Sajack was in his room in the hospital one night. And because he could laugh, as scary as that was for everyone, we could laugh too. He lived for a week after being moved to Assisted Living. He was able to attend meals in the dining room and see his friends whom he dearly loved and he was happy.
On December 10th, I got a call on my cell while I was at work, saying that hospice was asking that everyone call him in his room to say our good-byes. I knew that the moment would come, but I had no idea how I would feel. And I still don't know how to describe it. Obviously, I completely lost my shit and had to leave work and come home and cry my face off for the rest of the day. I called my grandpa one last time and was told that he would not be able to speak. I couldn't imagine how hard it would be to just speak to him, trying to choke back the tears, all the while knowing that this was it. But I did it. And shockingly, he was able, while on the phone with me, to say the words, "I love you very much" over and over again. Everyone in his hospital room was crying and I couldn't breathe. I could hear sobs from my aunt in the background as he spoke to me. For the last time.
The next morning, my dad called to tell me that he had passed. I didn't cry, really. Spliff sat on the foot of my bed, dressed and ready for work, and waited until she was sure I would be okay, before leaving. She told me that everyone at the office was so genuinely concerned that every time she told someone about the conversation I had had with him the day before and the fact that he had passed, they cried too. (And she cried every time she told someone as well.) She kept me updated on the score via text message. "Three down..."
The hardest part was trying to deal with regular things after that. Things like, doing laundry, getting out of bed, just generally living. Before the trip, I was in a bubble. I was a machine. I went to work, ate, slept, went to work...you see my point. It was better when we were out of town, because I was able to forget everything and not think about my grandpa or, for that matter, my grandma, who died seven years ago on my birthday, Christmas Day. But when we returned, I started to feel like a zombie again, work, eat sleep, repeat. I haven't felt like being a person, let alone, SEEING other people. It has been hard to laugh and hard to cry. I am working on trying to deal with the sadness in a way that doesn't alienate me from the people that I love, but it is a struggle. It feels wrong.
The memorial was a little over a week ago. I still don't know how to react to it, because it still doesn't feel real. It feels like I watched the whole thing from someone else's eyes. I cried and I laughed with my family, but I feel empty.
Today was the first time in a long time that I felt even remotely normal. I did things that I like to do and I did them alone. I felt that being on my own would be easier than trying to brave the outside world along with other people. And I feel much better for having done so.
I am grateful, (SO GRATEFUL) for my wonderful friends who, although they have no idea what to do or how to react to me right now, have been there however they know how.