Posted in ASHLEY IN WONDERLAND, DEATH/LOSS, MENTAL HEALTH, writing

3 MONTHS

It has been three months today since my grandfather died, nearly to the minute as I am writing this – and that feels somehow both absolutely mind-blowing and impossible to believe, and also somehow … right. I guess. I honestly don’t know Forgive my inability to be eloquent, but time (and most everything) don’t make sense at all when someone leaves, and that is the one thing I have grown to know for certain in the months in his absence.

Grief. The big g word. What have these three months looked like, in my mourning? What has this GRIEF felt like? It feels like a million things, because it changes so often – I am powerless to it. Some moments, I think of him and smile at some silly memory of him being ridiculous and wonderful. Some times I hurt and tuck my tail between my legs in shame when I think about time wasted arguing about politics or other dumb time stealers that make me feel ashamed now, looking back. And other times, I find myself bent over and gasping for breath, waves of panic hitting me so hard, the world too small and the loss too big, only able to think about words like “finality” and “forever”.

I guess it really doesn’t feel like three months, now that I think more about it, and maybe that’s because I haven’t actively let time try to pass. Because I am so often in that room where he spent his final weeks, watching him sleep, trying to make conversation whenever he was able to rouse, and finally, telling him it was okay to let go. I spend so much time back there that I am not here, three months later, as much as I guess I should be. I really don’t know what I should be, or where – there’s no instructional booklet on how to survive a hole being blown right through your chest and consequently having to live around it.

Because that’s what it feels like. A hole that is still very much open, very much tender and sore, that I am trying my best to keep clean and dressed and live with. I am trying to live with this, and some days, I just can’t. Some days I lay in bed until it is late in the afternoon and I howl for him, some days I want to leave this world to be with him again, and some days all I want is just five more minutes, just five more minutes to make sure that he really heard everything I said in the end – and wanting and wishing and breaking down about it won’t change it. And isn’t that the frustration of it all? Nothing changes it.

My family has started to move on in a tangible sense, and we are doing it together. We’ve started to clean out closets, the spare bedroom – though his desk, his battle station, remain untouched – and he’s still a part of most every conversation we have. He’s here, as much as he can be. We talk about how we see parts of him in each other, and it feels good to be likened to him – even when it’s the bad stuff, like temper tantrums and mood swings (at least I got it honestly). We talk about his childhood, I try to commit every word to memory. And I think we love each other harder, make an effort to see each other more, bicker a little less. My grandmother is doing such an amazing job of commanding this ship that some days, I feel jealous of the way she navigates and wonder why I can’t do the same. But as Modest Mouse said, we all float on, and I guess we do. A quarter of a year has passed – my first birthday without him has passed. The first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are to come. And more months will pass, inevitably, hastily, and with a hole in our chests that never quite heals.

As dumb as it sounds, this old Winnie the Pooh song “Wherever You Are” is what I used to describe today in my physical journal, so I’ll close out with some of the lyrics.

“I need you to come here and find me,
‘Cause without you, I’m totally lost.
I’ve hung a wish on every star.
It hasn’t done much good so far…

I can only dream of you …
Wherever you are.

I’ll hear you laugh,
I’ll see you smile,
I’ll be with you …
Just for a while

But when the morning comes,
And the sun begins to rise,
I will lose you.

Because it’s just a dream,
When I open up my eyes,
I will lose you.”

Author:

I'm a 32 year old mortician and cosmetologist who is currently battling lymphedema after a gnarly spider bite. I am fat, wear a lot of makeup, live with my mother, brother, and three cats, go to Disney World a lot, and am undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, and pre menstrual dysphoric disorder. My head may be a mess some days, but my heart (typically) means pretty well.

One thought on “3 MONTHS

  1. Oh my darling. It gets better. You will still miss Billy forever. I have tried to write Joanne a letter a hundres times but it keeps ending uup a tear stained mess. Losing someone is hard, and at times unbearable. I have laid on my mamas grave sobbing,thinking all the what ifs. But little by little you go on then you think oh I have to tell Grand about this or that and you remember he’s not there but say it out loud any way ,he can hear you. I hope this makes sense. Grief is hard and every one goes through it differently,it takes time, when it gets hard talk to someone take a breath. But you will get through it.
    One of my favorite memories of Billy is he and I driving in my 64 Chevy and him asking did I only know how to drive in hyper speed. Love you I’m here for you

    Liked by 1 person

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