I’m just gonna rant about it:
We expected mumsy/grandma to die. Her quality of life was not up there. Her personality deteriorated more and more every day. It was a breakthrough when I asked her to blink in response and she did. That shit makes me think about the concept of soul, and the afterlife, and if she died yesterday….does she have a 97 year old soul? How articulate would it be? We know that brain abnormalities….like those caused by stroke….really affect personality….so if there’s an afterlife, how much of the woman I grew up under as “Mumsy” gets to live into it?
This is shit we don’t know. There probably isn’t a soul. Probably. I still think the concept is based on human narcissism. But I can’t prove a negative, so we don’t know.
My grandmother has still passed on. I woke up today feeling absolutely, moving forward-cool about it. But every time I have to recall that moment when I learned she died, there’s that fucking grief. There’s that capability to start crying. That makes me human, and I’m OK with that.
It’s really that moment, when the uber-academic doctor, the detached, the guy who gave me so many “I learned politeness from my bedside manner classes, but that was all foreign shit to me” guy said “She expired and I’m sorry.(period)” which, yeah, that carries a lot of emotion to me. That’s when I got a big sledgehammer of reality.
Grandma was 97 years and 51 weeks. She was a week away from 98, and there’s a dumb part of me that wishes she got one more week. Just one more, so we could quantify her life into a nice neat little number some more. I know that’s dumb. Mumsy, like most of my grandmas, was one of those pains in the asses who taught me that pains in asses can have big, good hearts.
This changes so much. There’s personal stuff like, property. Ownership. I probably won’t have a garden in some months. FEELINGS of entitlements among the little cousins will turn into actual entitlements, which I can respect (and move on from) because that’s correct. We have to make arrangements and my father, his brother and his sister need help to make the best decisions that appeal to everyone.
I really feel like a man. And in a bad way. Like I’ve got to man up and do morbid stuff. This isn’t somber shit, I’d carry my grandmother’s casket so hard, and I want to. That woman, that lady who taught me the most about my mixed background simply by being herself (and I can’t recall her once using the word black, btw… I think that says something) has a long-ass legacy that we don’t get to just put to rest, cause we’re alive, so it lives too. I really wish personal things, like that I had more traditionally published books in the time that she was alive that she could’ve been proud of. I really wish I was more stalwart, but there’s a lot of grief about this woman who, in actuality, stopped living the way she was half a decade ago, finally leaving her body.
It’s just a natural process of life. I spent a good part of yesterday screaming fuck at the top of my lungs and pounding the punching bag and then fluctuating between a kind of cold numb and the urge to want to curl up and cry. I guess I loved her a lot. Go fucking figure.
Jaidree was and is, amazing. She just came home and understood that I needed moments, and occasional hugs. She found me on our lawn with a hoodie covering my face, with a sleeping bag protecting me from misquitoes, just drinking and staring at the cat who was a foot away. I couldn’t read. I told her she was on dinner duty, that I didn’t care whatever it was, and you know what? that was a lie. She ordered calimari, chicken parm, pizza, a calzone, wings and fries, and all I was planning was to get drunk last night, but it turned out fried shit covered in tar-tar helped. Like I just downed the calamari and some wings, and then was done, but honestly, it helped a whole lot. I normally don’t list food unless it has some kind of magic, but last night’s quiet feast helped. So that tradition of giving a grieving person a casserole…yes, give them food. Make it so they don’t have to self-motivate to get grub and dishes together. Make it delicious. Make it comfort food. It helps their spirit too.
I talked with the sister in chi-town, and it went from commiseration, to problem solving. And that felt right.
It’s good to have family you can relate to, obviously. But, it’s important to. It makes the grieving process so much less…..griefy. I thought I’d be more prepared to be hit less hard than I am. I’ve got a eulogy to do now. One last thing for grandma.
I’m still out of grandparents….and I’ve been blessed with quite a few of ’em. My dad is now a true elderly senior man. He’s THE true elderly senior man now. I also sort of can’t believe I don’t have grandparents anymore, but only sort of.
Cause I can.
That’s reality, I can eat it hard, and I hope mumsy is a lot less uncomfortable today than I knew her to be yesterday.