Monday, March 31, 2008

Death x2

Universe, are you finished? We're crying uncle here. Enough with the buckets of pain, ok?

It's been an emotional couple of weeks for the people I love, and I sincerely hope that things level out soon, because I don't think we can take much more stress in our lives. I feel a bit helpless, knowing that nothing I do can erase what's happened or take away the sting of grief. All I can do is listen, support, encourage, and give out hugs as needed. It's a trying time.

My grandmother, my dad's mom, passed away yesterday. It wasn't unexpected, but it's still difficult, especially for my dad. Gammie (as she insisted we call her) was my dad's only parent, and her death has affected him more than he thought it would. None of us were very close to her, but she's family, and it's strange to think that she won't be around anymore, making us laugh, inspiring stories we'll tell and re-tell for years to come. Now, we'll have to honor her memory by keeping those childhood recollections alive and trying, somehow, to understand her long, strange life. I'm glad she's not suffering anymore, and I can only hope that she's much happier now, reunited with her memories, no longer bound to a wasted body and mind.

We'll be traveling to Louisiana this week (my second trip to the state of my birth in as many weeks), and I don't quite know how we're going to feel at that funeral. I'm not grieving, exactly, but I'm sure the service will affect all of us somewhat. I think it's going to finally hit home that we're not teenagers anymore, that we have only a limited time left with our remaining grandparents and great-aunts and -uncles, and that is one scary thought. I'm not prepared for that onslaught of emotional hell. None of us is quite prepared. All we can do is treasure the time we have left and visit as much as we're able.

My mom already wrote about the other bad news we recently received, far more eloquently than I'm able, but I'll try to put my scattered thoughts into words. We found out last week, to everyone's shock, that my sweet younger brother will be going through the heartache of divorce after 21 months of marriage. I know he's devastated, and I wish I could absorb some of that pain and disappointment for him. The healing process is going to take a lot of time, and I just hope that he's not consumed with regret; that instead, he can eventually look back on their nearly 7 years together with some measure of gratitude and affection. I hope that he and Hannah can stay in each other's lives after the dust has settled and the pain and anger have dissipated somewhat. I hate to think that this lovely girl, whatever her faults, won't be a part of our lives anymore. Even though we weren't extremely close, I was so fond of her, and had so much hope for their relationship despite the odds. She and Michael essentially grew up together, and Hannah was a well-loved member of our family since they were both teenagers. It's hard to fathom her sudden absence. I can't begin to imagine how Michael is coping with the loss. I just want to hug him so tightly every time I see him.

I don't think we'll ever truly know what went wrong, or what, if anything, could have been done to prevent this split. Michael, bless him, is keeping the details private, and we will continue to respect his wishes. I think it's admirable, and Michael has a lot of integrity. He's young, but he's more mature than even he realizes. Strong, too, though he may not feel that way at the moment. I'm glad that he has an army of supporters to lean on; our family may have its faults, but we circle around each other with fierce love and unyielding support when one of our own is in pain. I just wish there were magical words that I could say to ease his suffering, but I know from experience that the healing process, though painfully slow, is essential - that Michael will come out on the other side with a better understanding of himself, with wisdom and maturity. Until then, he has us. I've never felt closer to my family, and as regrettable as the circumstances are, I'm grateful that we're united during this difficult time.

1 comment:

Louisiana Belle said...

OMG, I'm sitting here weeping! I have been anticipating this post for days. Beautiful. If there is any good to come from all this pain, it is that we realize how fiercely united we truly are and that we will love, protect and help each other to the end.