How I Dealt With My Grandmother’s Death

I’m sitting in a modest, split-level office. A kindly Indian woman took my name and shakes her hair before she answers the phone. I filled out the new patient forms and let her scan my insurance card. Then, I wait. 

The past 24 hours have been pretty intense. I’m a person who tries to avoid tense, awkward situations. That’s why I avoided talking to my father for the past 5 years. Yes, 5 years. But, my grandmother, his mother, died (see: I’m Bad at Life). And, I needed to deal with that.

When I found out, I didn’t. I didn’t call, I didn’t text back, I just…didn’t. Dealing with a death is something no one wants to do. Compounded with reconnecting with one’s estranged father…WOOF. 

I drove with my other grandma about 200 miles south to the funeral at 8:30 am. My new car is a dream. The Civ glided through the picturesque roads while Grandma quipped every 90 seconds if I went more than two miles per hour over the 70mph speed limit. “We’re okay, lady!” I responded, slowing down to 72. 

There are landmarks I look for when I go to that place; a giant Jesus figure on the side of the highway for one. “The giant Jesus!” I shouted, excitedly. A stone monstrosity, arms outstretched, almost 30 feet high. It let me know I’m about an hour away. 

I was racked with guilt and anxiety. More than you can understand. And suddenly, when I walked into the church, it was like I was punched in the fucking heart. I saw my grandmother, laying in a casket, looking frail like a baby bird. I lost my shit. I cried harder and fell into my father’s arms. There was a line of people behind me but I didn’t care. I couldn’t handle seeing her, so small, so…dead. 

The service itself was uneventful but respectful. My grandmother was a very religious woman so the service was basic and pious. My father read the remarks and sang (which was a bit odd, but whatever…). I felt I couldn’t react or smile. I shook a bit and tried to engage but I thought multiple times about bolting from the seat. Good thing I wasn’t on an aisle seat! 

I kind of want to block out the events but I can’t and I shouldn’t. I don’t want to feel traumatized but I can’t really get the feeling of guilt and sadness out of my mind. But, it’s the grieving process. It doesn’t go away in a day. I haven’t cried today; I cried enough yesterday for the remainder of 2015! 

  The Young Alcoholic and Miles Lark sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers (which I’m looking at) and I “made up” with my father. 

  I think things will go well. I’m going to start a new antidepressant tonight after meeting and consulting with a new psychiatrist. I’m having a positive attitude toward things. I have good people in my corner. I’m hanging in there, guys! 

4 comments

  1. anisakazemi · November 10, 2015

    Lots of love xx

    Like

  2. Robert Crisp · November 11, 2015

    Man, this brought me back to my grandmother’s funerals. My mom told me it would be closed casket, and then I walked into the room and WHAM. Just like you said, it felt like I’d been punched in the heart.

    Glad you have good people in your cornet. Count me in, too (virtually speaking) and keep hanging in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ajapenntodd · November 11, 2015

      Thank you very much, Robert. That means a lot to know I’m not alone in my feelings!

      Like

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