Monday, March 12, 2012

# death # family

What I Need

 For the past 24 hours or so, I've had a need to write this post. Of course, this morning, I woke up with a rotten head cold and so my words don't flow as fluently as they might normally. I hope you can forgive me and muddle through the best you can.

Life is hard right now. I know that this, in itself, isn't news to anyone who knows me. What I have noticed though is a certain lack of love and support coming my way as I deal with this. I'm sure there are at least a couple of reasons for this.

1) You don't know what to say. I'm dealing with the upcoming death of the woman who raised me and when there's death involved, people don't know what to say. I'm sorry doesn't seem enough and death is an area so many are afraid of. It's as though if we acknowledge it, it makes it more real. It's an uncomfortable topic and so instead of saying anything, we say nothing.

2) This isn't new news. On some level or another, I've been dealing with this since May when she first got sick. Perhaps people think that when you deal with something like this over months that you become numb to it and no longer need the support and love that you did originally.

Here's the things, folks..death is real. Death happens to all of us. Most of us have experienced the death of a loved one by the time they reach our ages. It doesn't matter if death takes 10 months or 10 minutes, it hits just the same way. Some people feel that if you have time to get used to the idea that it's easier. I'm here to tell you that they're wrong. You cannot prepare yourself for the pain that comes with losing someone. When it's something that takes longer, there's an entirely different grief of watching that vibrant person disappear before your eyes. It's heartbreaking and tragic and it's something that we will all go through at one point or another in our lives.

I know that some of you don't know how to handle what's happening to me and for you, I write this list entitled..What I Need:

1. Random text messages - Just out of the blue, drop me a line. Ask me how I am. Tell me you love me. Tell me you're thinking about me. It doesn't have to be a novel, just a quick note to remind me I'm not alone.


Right now, there is no 2 because I started to write this on Thursday night and everything in my life changed on Friday morning. At about 7:48am, I got a phone call from my uncle saying that my grandmother was going downhill and they didn't think she'd make it more than another 5-6 hours. I was there in less than 2 and in less than 1 more, she was gone. She went peacefully (thank you, morphine) but she left a hole that will never be filled in my life.

So, tonight, I start a new What I Need list:

It's really quite simple. I need your everything. I need your cards, your letters, your texts, your calls, your flowers, your ham love and your attention. I need to be reminded that while it feels like I just lost my world, I'm not alone. I'm still loved. I'm still cared for.

There is so much going on right now. So much that I want to tell you but the timing just isn't right. Trust me when I say that things have gone way too close to how I predicted they would. It makes everything ten times harder. It's been 3 days and I still haven't been able to just sit and cry. I know others have. I know every time I think I might be able to just bleed off some of the emotion, I get a phone call and I have to fix something. It's exhausting.

Quite honestly, I'm running on fumes right now and the little recharges I get come from all of you. They come from people like Kate who setup a special livestream last night  and spent hours upon hours coloring pieces just so that I wouldn't be alone. People came in to watch and we laughed and joked and were weird and silly and it was wonderful. She didn't have to. She could have sat at her geekily fantastic workstation and worked without all of us and our commentary, but she did it for me. She let me feel special. The people who came in and laughed and joked with me made me feel special. I was one in a group not one standing alone.

They come from friends who tell you to come see them for the weekend because you shouldn't be alone. They come from Facebook messages that say I love you. They come from all of you.

I know that talking about death is hard. I know that it's one of those things that most of us sheer off to one side to avoid. It's ok. I understand that. I don't need to talk about death. I just need to talk sometimes. Sometimes when I'm busy holding up the world, I need folks to help hold me up. I can't be a super hero all the time. Sometimes, I am very human.

So, whether you're someone big or someone small, remember that your part in this is very important. Your part is to love me and to show me you love me. Your job is to remember that right now I have a need to be selfish and about me. In some areas, I'm the only one protecting me. Y'all are like the squire who straps his knight into his armor. You help prepare me for the battles I have to face.


** Please don't send sandwich ham. 20 years after my grandfather's death and I still can't look at those rolled up pieces of meat and want to eat them. **

~.~.~. Some have asked about funeral services. There will be a private family graveside ceremony on March 13 and then a public memorial service to come later. ~.~.~.

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1 comment:

Make It Happen Mama said...

Dear Katie, I don't know you, I didn't know your grandmother, but I know you are brave to share your grief with all of us. Sending you a big cyberhug from Oregon. Sincerely, Emily

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