what a crazy week and a half it’s been. i almost feel like the past seven days weren’t real; i know i lived them, but i don’t think i’ve begun to process them yet. and the strangest thing is that i don’t feel overwhelmingly, heart-breakingly sad. i just feel different. maybe a little empty.
death is never easy, but my grandmother’s, at least, was peaceful. she passed away at 95, in the early morning hours, in her sleep. she lived a full, rich life and she knew her family loved her.
i can’t imagine not walking the block and a half from my parents’ house to my grandmother’s. i can’t imagine not finding her sweeping leaves in the driveway, can’t imagine not seeing her perched in her chair at the kitchen table or sitting by her big bay window watching the action — or lack thereof — on the street where she lived for more than 40 years. i can’t imagine her not asking me “how’s school?”, the words clanging together like metal wind chimes, even though i graduated from college six years ago. i especially can’t imagine the holidays without her. i feel like, in the past week, my heart has turned a bit in my chest, causing the way i see things (because i really do feel i view the world through my heart much more than i do my head, for better or worse) to shift.
but i feel like, as unimaginable as it is not to have her here, i need to thank her for that shift, because i certainly think it’s going to help me grow. i suddenly have this urge to do things that are completely new or unfamiliar, whether it’s listen to a band i’ve never heard or redecorate my apartment or volunteer with a nonprofit or highlight my hair. i am very well aware that this is all part of the grieving process, but i am interested to see how these urges sustain themselves. i’ve said from the very beginning that 2011 feels like it’s going to be a year that’s defined by its thrust, by its momentum. i don’t think that precludes sadness and loss; i just think it means that forward movement will always overtake them.
i’m going to try to keep that thought with me as i untangle the sadness and adjust to life without someone very special in it. and for this week? my one commitment is right up at the top of this post, and i think it’s a pretty good one.