Friday, February 11, 2011

My Greatest Fear Realized

Today is February 11, 2011.

It's approximately 9:25AM and I've just been told that my grandmother has died. My mom is a wreck and my sister is unreachable.

I've sent an email to three levels of management and Human Resources and I'm numb. I feel like I'm not allowed to lose it because Mom is not holding it together and Nat doesn't have the capacity to deal with the intensity of it all. So that leaves me pick up the scattered pieces, brush them off, and try to glue them back together.

My selfishness is glaringly obvious to me. All I can think about is myself. How abandoned I feel by the first person to love me exactly the way I am. How I'll have to drive 6 hours wearing sweats and dark sunglasses just so I can deal with the shenanigans of family. How I don't have anyone to be strong for me like I have to be strong for Mom and Nat.

I only ever asked God for one thing: to let my Gramma see my first born child.

People say there is a God. That He walks with me, that He talks with me, that He calls me his own. People say that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.*

I'm reading a book right now that tells me that this world, our world, the way that it is is not at all the way God intended it to be. That He doesn't cause our pain and sorrow to bring us closer to Him. But rather that He has given us all the same freedom to decide on our own what path in life to take.  That he waits patiently for the day when we are ready to open our hearts to live in Him as one in a circle of love, trust, and respect.

It's hard to feel the love. It's hard to give the trust. And I'm finding it even harder to muster the respect. As the days of my life go by and I continue my own countdown to the end, I find myself continuing to ask God why. What good can come out of so much pain? And how can He expect me to find love - especially for Him - when all He wants is credit for what is good in me and my life? Why? And everywhere I turn, everywhere I look says only one thing: Because He said so.

That may be good enough for you but it's not enough for me.

I know I'm not the first to experience pain or suffering. I have witnessed torture and trauma worst than anything I've ever felt. That doesn't bring me any amount of comfort.

Written February 11, 2011 at 10:45AM

The tears are falling sporadically as I write or breathe or think. Nat knows now and I'm trying to distract myself with thoughts of hot food and warm slippers. I'm trying not to think about a world without my Grammy in it. A world where her landlord has given us 10 days to clear out her stuff and make it appear as though she never existed.

It's 11:45AM and Nat and Mom are both home. Mom quit trying to work over an hour ago and Nat texted me saying she just couldn't focus. But I'm still here plugging away. Trying to make sure there are no loose ends while I'm away next week. I've only told one person that my grandma passed. Hopefully, no one else will find out until they read this. My closest partners think I'm taking a much needed vacation. They've noticed how high-strung and disagreeable I've been lately. Thank goodness I didn't tell them when I was on meds otherwise they'd know the reality behind the change.

I'm thinking of my mom crying her eyes out. Those deep, gutteral sobs that are the true expression of immeasurable pain. I think of Nat asking me three times if I were sure that it's our grandma that the hospital pronounced dead - as if they'd make an error so large as to notify the wrong family. And then I think of the email I drafted to my boss. Here it is:

"I just received word that my maternal grandmother passed at approximately 9:00am this morning. My mother is holding up as expected but anticipates completing her work day. These events could cause me to leave unexpectedly today.

I do, however, request permission to leave work at 3p today so that I may pick up my sisters from after care.

Naturally, I’ll require time off to assist in making travel and funeral arrangements to Maryland. I will keep you updated as events unfold."

It's a tad cold, don't you think? Maybe not cold but definitely distant. But it's exactly what I was feeling at the time. Very factual and analytical. These are things that happened. This is the result of those events. I hope I have your support in this.

Am I cold? Am I distant? Does my lack of tears mean that I loved her less? Does my need for distraction mean that I'm trying not to cope? Is it wrong that I can only think about the will that never was? Or all the resistance I encountered when I pushed for its completion.

Am I a bad person for already having a car rental arranged? That I'm prepared to do all of the driving? That I've worked out the prepartion schedule that will start at 3:30 today when this will post and I'll be on the road to my mother's.

Am I sadistic for having played out the war that is likely to ensue? The one that declares that it is possible to steal from the dead if they didn't want you to have anything.

I dread going back to this place. To see the oh so familiar faces of Satan reincarnated. Those that judged me for having the audacity to live my life apart from them. The ones who squatted in my great Aunt's home and were upset that I demanded that they buy it legally. The Aunt who tried to throw herself into my great-grandfather's grave when he was being lowered into the ground.

Them. Why do I have to see them?


It is painfully obvious that I am in no way working. But I'm damned sure not going to leave until I have to.

It's 2:15PM and everything is almost entirely sewn up. My boss has asked me what I need for the third time. And everyone else thinks I'm going on an impromptu vacation. I did get some things accomplished but I won't lie and say it was much.

In 45 minutes, I'll be in my car alone and I'll finally be allowed to cry. Really cry. Then the healing will begin.

*Hebrews 11:1
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