As many of you know my Grandmother passed away on Monday evening.
Here’s how the story went in my life: Kristie (my roommate) wanted to take me out to celebrate my birthday (it was Saturday) so we went out to dinner. When we were done with dinner we went to go see a movie. After we bought tickets we went outside and I checked the time on my phone and noticed that I missed a few calls from my mom and home.
I called home (or what’s labeled as Olathe in my phone) and talked to my dad. During the process of my grandmothers being sick I have expected bad news every time my parents call. They both always ask if I was just sleeping but I’m just waiting for them to get to the bad news and Monday it was pretty bad news.
About a month ago or so doctors found a large tumor on grandma’s kidney and she had fluid in her lungs. The fluid turned out to have cancer cells in it so it was determined that she had stage 4 cancer and it has spread everywhere. The doctors told her that she wasn’t going to be cured but that they would try to give her time. They were going to move her to rehab and then three weeks later give her some pills that would deal with the cancer. She never made it three weeks.
So when I talked to my dad after dinner he said that she was at rehab and couldn’t breath so they sent her to the ER and in the ER she decided that she didn’t want extraordinary measures so they sent her to hospice.
I was devastated. I thought we had more time than that. I was going to see her on the 26th. Dad basically said the same thing out loud. So I hung up with him and my roommate asked me what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to see the movie.
It wasn’t going to do me any good to sit at home and freak out so I decided to see Dark Shadows (it’s hilarious by the way) and when the movie was over I had several missed calls from my mom and a text saying “Call me.” I called her back in the middle of a parking structure and she told me that grandma had died. I couldn’t believe it. She was gone. I still can’t believe it.
This is the second grandparent I have lost, to cancer no less. It sucks. And there isn’t much people can do. A friend is taking me to the airport in hours and then when I get back I will be using my friends to help me pack and make runs to Goodwill (I will be leaning on you when I get back).
When my first grandparent died (while I was alive. My mom’s dad died when she was a kid so I never got to know him) I tried to force the process. I felt like I had to be sad, so I tried to think about sad things when I wasn’t sad. Since then I have grown up. I have realized that the process is fluid and I may be in all the stages of grief at once or just one at a time. Yesterday I was angry, in denial and depressed all at the same time. I was also able to function for most of the day by keeping myself busy and preoccupied with other things. Feeling it in the moment and fully escaping was the perfect mixture to get me through the day.
This time I’m not forcing feelings. If I’m numb, I’m going with it. If I’m angry I’m going with that. Wherever I am in this process of grief is okay because that’s where I am. It’s also okay for everyone to be in different stages of the grief process. It’s okay if my cousins have made it to acceptance and I’m still in the rest of the process. We each deal with this differently and that’s fine. We are where we are.
I have also noticed that I have become more sappy in the process. I’m telling everyone I love them and why because I can’t get “Say What You Need To Say” out of my head from John Mayer’s “Say.”
It’s okay to be where I am and as the day continues and as I travel to Denver I think I will have to remind myself of that even more.