My grandpa died early yesterday morning. My grandma was in the bed next to him. They got to spend his last few days together in an assisted care facility.
No one ever tells you that when someone dies, their body isn’t magically taken away – poof! Off to the crematorium. No one tells you that it actually takes several hours for the grim reaper and his sidekicks to arrive. With paperwork. And more paperwork. And someone, somehow needs to find the urn. STAT. He can’t go without the urn? And your left wondering – is it more logical to hide an urn in the closet or under the sink? Surely not with the chips and cookies in the pantry. The library seemed to make sense, but it isn’t there. Maybe in the garage?
Then you find the urn located inside a vault you didn’t know existed and you take another step forward. Breathe.
No one tells you that you will just feel like you need to call someone, anyone, so you aren’t just sitting there. But the truth is, when people die of old age, there aren’t that many people to call. Children? Check. Siblings? Check. Now what?
No one tells you that in between grief and crying your brain goes to normal things. Like, why did I have that second cup of coffee? Or, my God, I look like hell. And then you feel guilty for even noticing your hair and then you feel guilty for not crying. But really, no one can cry for hours straight.
No one tells you about grief in the time of Facebook. There is no such thing as private mourning. You will feel overwhelmed by others want to tell the world of their loss. And it is their grief too, so you don’t stop them. Or maybe you just don’t have the energy to fight that battle.
There was a lot I was unprepared for, but what I did expect, and what has happened, is my want for quiet. To be still. To hold close my memories and sift through the thoughts in my head. To run on autopilot, to just go through the motions. To just be left to my own devices, however odd those might appear to the outside world. To write. And write. In a way that leaches this out.
To not be ready to talk just yet.
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