Friday, November 02, 2007

Not Talking To You Yet

I’ve been struggling lately.

The sudden death of my grandmother, the violence of it, the bearing witness to her passing and the closeness of it all to my grandfather’s death have been hard on me.

One minute I’m fine and the next minute…not fine.

Basket case.

A friend asked me if I believed that my Granny’s spirit existed somewhere and if so, did I talk to her.

I was so surprised to hear myself blurt out,

“Not yet!”

Then I started laughing in recognition.

"No! I'm not talking to her yet!"

I sounded so much like my toddlers.


“Not talking to you! GO AWAY! NOT NICE, GRANNY!”

I feel her presence but I’m not talking to her yet.

I've been wandering back and forth through the various stages of grief and have spent my fair share of time in anger, but up until now I've been angry at the universe for taking her so abruptly and treating her so roughly.

Now, it seems I'm mad at her.

For leaving me.

I understand she did not go on purpose but I’m as angry as an irrational toddler.

Driving home, I suddenly burst into tears and started shouting over the radio volume,

“I’M SO ANGRY AT YOU FOR LEAVING ME!!! I’M NOT TALKING TO YOU!!”

I believe that wherever she exists – in heaven, in my mind, or in the wind and rain – she forgives me for this tantrum.

I feel her presence around me.

I know she is trying to comfort me.

I see her outstretched arms.

I cross my own arms in defiance. Stamp my feet. Yell.

A smile spreads across her face.

My outburst reminds her of her first grandchild, a girl who was three years old thirty seven years ago.


101 comments:

Jackie said...

Of course she forgives you.
(((hugs)))

Amanda said...

I am so sorry for your pain. I do not know your specific pain, but the narration of your anger echoes the fury I felt after my grandfather passed. 13 months battling valiantly in hospice in his mid nineties and I railed at him in darkness for having, "given up." It wasn't my proudest moment, but like you, I believe he understood and that he is indeed out there, somewhere, somehow. I am so hopeful for you and your journey, may you and your Granny find your way back to each other.

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

She likes that you feel emotions strongly and loves you all the more. She knows, when you are ready, you'll be talking to her.

WILLIAM said...

I am sure she forgives you. You need to forgive her.

Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

I still sometimes talk to my Nana, and she will be gone for 15 years in April. And of course your grandmother forgives you, that is what grandmothers do...
I am sending hugs your way.

Family Adventure said...

Oh Joy, this was so bitter sweet. I am sorry for your pain. It will get better. And I'm sure she knows.

Heidi

Jenifer said...

For it was and still is my Dad. He was 48 years old, way too young -- then again 99 is way too young in many ways too.

I am still mad at him for leaving me and not walking me down the aisle and not knowing my girls. I will never not be angry I fear because it just sucks to have to live without him.

Let it all in Jess that is what I do, some days are all about the anger and some the sadness and some are peaceful. She loved you and you loved her, how could it be any other way?

pgoodness said...

I'm smiling - not because it's funny (though even at your worst, you ARE) but I can totally picture your grandma smiling, trying not to laugh at your tantrum. There is nothing for her to forgive - she didn't want to leave you like that - she just wants to comfort you, but certainly understands and will wait until you are ready.

Screaming in the car, refusing to talk - she'll wait (and grin at you, I imagine).

Hang in there friend...

Victoria said...

She's waiting until you're ready to talk to her. It's what loved ones do. (((Hugs))). I'm so sorry for your pain.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I felt the same way when my dad died. I was so angry with him for "giving up" and dying. She understands. I know it. You two had such a special relationship, it seems. I am envious of that, even in death.

Patience said...

Anger is a valid expression of grief! Of course you're angry! She left you with no warning! But once the anger passes, once the grief calms, you'll once again look at her life with joy and love!

Peace to you and your family!

dawn224 said...

This makes total sense. Spot on.

TX Poppet said...

I'm sorry for your losses. What you wrote today will help more people than you know deal with their own grief. Peace.

kara said...

Thinking of you today.

I know she forgives you and is watching over you thinking that's the Jessica I know. Be mad scream yell and for gods sake please watch the road when your yelling.

-The Shiny Happy Mama- said...

She'll be patient. My Grammy was. I've been there, Jess. When you're ready for her, she'll be there. Many hugs, happy thoughts from me...

DV said...

It took me a long, long while to 'talk' to my mum... she died when I was 11 and it took e until my wedding day to figure out what I wanted to say...felt better after.

It will take time but when you are finally ready, it's a beautiful and cathartic thing.

and do we ever stop feeling like toddlers... the lovely husband cracked up once when our 2yr old had the exact same cranky face that I get :)

Lisa Milton said...

There will come a time. I imagine she's patient, waiting.

I wish grief was a tidier package, more rational.

So sorry.

Julie Pippert said...

Oh (HUGS) I am sure you are right that she understands. You take your time.

Julie
Using My Words

Heidi Hyde said...

That's right. Take your time. She'll be there when you're ready.

-HH

karrie said...

I'm so, so sorry, Jessica. I'm so behind on reading blog posts that I did not realize your grandmother had passed away until just now.

She would understand your shock and anger.

If it is any small consolation, one night when I was 9, I was being a horrid little shit and I screamed at my father "I wish you were dead. I hate you!"

The next day, he was.

I'm glad you were able to catch a flight and spend some time with her in those last hours. It's ok to be angry though. Not to go all Kubler-Ross on you, but anger is a completely acceptable, healthy way to grieve.

Again, I'm so sorry.....

Jenn said...

I'm sure she understands.

That's what Grandma's do, no matter where their soul resides.

jen said...

oh jess....how beautiful is this. and you.

the journey.

Sayre said...

I'll bet she's laughing and crying at the same time. Kind of like you do when Mayor and Roo exasperate you. You also know they'll come out of it soon enough.

You will too.

Catizhere said...

She understands. Your anger will fade. She will be there with open arms when you are ready.

Peace to you, Jess.

Jen said...

That tantrum may have just been the first nessecary step towards healing. I'm sure your grandma understands. I also believe that she'll be there to help you through the hard times. I hope you find comfort soon.

Serina Hope said...

She forgives you just like you forgive yours. I am glad that you feel her around you and I hope things get easier soon. My heart goes out to you.

jakelliesmom said...

I choose to believe that she's still with you. I bet she's none too pleased to be gone, either.

And as for those feelings, I say find a way to let them out as well as you can.

furiousBall said...

Boy it's tough. I lost both of my granny's within 6 months of each other. I can 100% identify with the notion of not wanting to let them into your hurting thoughts right now. just remember to be patient with yourself right now. all important thoughts and feelings, feel all the teeth and smoothness and even the anxiousness for them all to pass. it's muy importante.

nutmeg said...

You'll get there. My Nana, who as much as raised me, died when I was 19. It took awhile, but now we talk a lot, mostly as I struggle to parent. She still makes me laugh. I still make her laugh. Maybe they both have a heavenly blog and they're commenting to each other as we speak. "I had a grand daughter a lot like yours, and we were close. And she's a nut job too!"

Trish K said...

Wow, its wonderful for you to be able to express how you feel. What a painful time. Its ok to be angry and sad. I felt the same way when I lost my mom, I still get angry with her. I am so sorry for your loss.

Mommin' It Up! said...

I can only imagine what you are going through. I am sure your Granny will be patient until you're ready to talk.

*~*Cece*~* said...

Its hard now, but trust me, it does get easier as each day passes. {{hugs}}

Craze said...

Please know that grief is a process and your anger is a part of that. Don't feel bad, of course she forgives you. Also know that there is no timeline when it comes to grief. We each work at our own pace.

The Empty Nest said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and your pain. She'll be there when you're ready, with a warm hug and a smile.

Your posts mean so much to me, and I'm sure to so many others. I have to go find a tissue now. {sniff}

Renée

Pendullum said...

She is so sad to have left...
She is so sad that her body failed...
But her spirit is there...
When she sees you can breath again without having problems exhaling, she will leave...
But will visit from time to time...
So sorry, Jessica...
So very sorry for your loss..

Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus) said...

How about a big, fat hug from someone you don't even know?

*runs over and throws one on ya*

For the record, I'm positive your assertions are correct. She's there, she's smiling, she forgives you. She loves you, she wants you to have a long happy life... but she looks forward to the time when you'll be together again.

Peace on you, Jess.

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

I am glad you can "see" her reactions to what you are going through. She understands and cares so much.

I am sorry it's been so horribly rough on you.

Heather, Queen of Shake-Shake said...

I have no wise words for you Jess. Only thoughts and wishes for you as you go through this.

liv said...

I don't think you're supposed to be ready, sweetie. All of this takes time, and you've been through so much. Be nice to you.

Damselfly said...

You're allowed some tantrums. Especially as cute as you are/were.

cinnamon gurl said...

I was six months' pregnant when I lost my Grandma and I had moments of that anger, because she had been ready to go and my big belly didn't make her want to stay. But she was sick before she died, so I couldn't really expect her to keep suffering just for my benefit. Eventually I decided that if she could have stayed without suffering, she totally would have, and that made me feel better. I also realized that everyone has to die eventually, and her passing would never come at a good time.

It's so hard... my thoughts are with you.

Queen Karana said...

Your post reminds me of the poem by Dylan Thomas... (just a portion of the poem)


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Of course she forgives you, of course she loves you... and when you are ready she will be there for you. As she always was.

Momish said...

She'll wait. They always do because their love is unending.

Kyla said...

This was so achingly sweet.

She forgives you. Just like you forgive Roo and Mayor. She'll wait as long as it take for you to speak to her.

Paige said...

When I get rid of this toddler-inflicted upper respiratory plague, I'd like to take you for a glass of Mal-becky.

I understand everything you say here. All of it makes sense and is totally normal, as far as the stages of grief go. I know that doesn't make it any easier, but there's gonna come a day when you'll be ready to talk to that spirit.

I know that spirit is talking to you.

AnotherMomCreation said...

((HUGS)) It takes a lot of strenght to admit you are angry. You'll talk to her again, just give it time. She knows you love her.

Shawn said...

If she's anything like my grandmother, she'll be ready and waiting when you are ready to start talking. Hang in there.

mamaDB said...

I'm sure writing this post is helping you work through this.

The pictures of your Granny are stunning.

Warm thoughts to you during this time.

Danielle

mom said...

First of all, you are precious.

Second, my own Grandmother dies the same way -- driving to a card game (bridge, of course) she "slumped over" went off the road and hit a tree - about 1 block from my high school. I drove by that tree daily for 6 years after she died -- and it stood difiantly -- scarred from the collision, but alive. And I hated the tree.

My Mother and I lived with her at the time she died - divorce refugees - back to Grandma. I felt like she was the only person who understood me. I was devastated. I still miss her.

The ugly will go. And the warm sadness will replace it. Just hang in there.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Your post gave me chills. Your grandma is right there with you, for sure.

Redneck Mommy said...

Jess.

There are just no words that I can offer, no solutions, no advice.

I know all too achingly well of which you speak. I wish I didn't.

I can feel him all around me, everywhere, all the time. And I yell at him too and then feel badly about it after. Bad Mommy, yelling at her dead kid.

Ya, good times.

Although there are days I wish he'd just bugger off and leave me alone, most days I find comfort knowing he is there. Somewhere. But mostly in my heart.

I'm thinking of you. Cheering you on.

Sue at nobaddays said...

HUGS. And smiles for this bitter-sweet but lovely post.

QT said...

I had to risk life and limb to come here to tell you that she DOES forgive you and sooner or later, you will be talking to her.

Love you, sister ~ letting go of someone's physical self is so hard for those of us left behind. So, so hard.

Veronica Mitchell said...

Oh, do I identify with this.

I hope for your comfort.

Tabba said...

it's part of the process and she is in a place where she has the wisdom to know that.

many hugs to you.
go easy on yourself.

Kimberly said...

Grandmothers love you no matter what! That's why they are so GRAND! Take your time, she loves you and will wait for you!

Monica said...

I don't know you well enough to do anything other than send love and light your way.

My grandma used to smile when I through a tantrum. She said she just loved seeing me live life... even when I was a booger.

Feel your emotions - don't stuff em.

Hugs again,

Mon

Jennifer said...

Yell. Stamp your feet. Cross your arms. Be angry. It's all okay, all of that. She's there, through it all, and will be there when you're ready, whenever that might be. Take your time. She understands.

sweetney said...

oh i'm so sorry. and i'm sure she understands. how can we not feel anger at losing someone we love so much?

Worker Mommy said...

My father passed away in 1999 suddenly from a heart attack. He was 53. With time it's gotten easier to deal with but I don't think I'll ever be completely "right" with it in my mind. I feel cheated. I feel angry. I hate that he missed out on my wedding, me following in his footsteps career wise, meeting my children . Then sometimes I just feel an overwhelming sense of love and grateful for the 28 years I did get with him. That said I still and always will him sooo much.

All that to say, you're absolutely right in everything you feel. You do what you need to do to cope. My heart goes out to you!

canape said...

Oh man. I really need to tell you the story of how much of an ass I was at my grandfather's funeral. I was so mad at him for leaving me. And I was so mad at the people who said "He's in a better place."

It would make a dandy Steel Magnolia's type play.

As always, sending you lots of love and the hope for peace.

mamatulip said...

I understand what you are conveying and how you are feeling more than I think I can express.

I'm struggling too. Trying to keep everything under wraps, trying to keep my emotions in check.

It's hard.

I'm tired.

I'm sad.

I understand your feelings; I sympathize.

Your grandmother forgives you. She loves you and is with you. Talk to her when you're ready. She'll be there.

Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

I'm so sorry for your pain. I know your Granny loves you and is with you at all times.

Veronica said...

She loves you and forgives you. I'm sure she is waiting with a smile for you to not hurt so much.

(((hugs)))

kittenpie said...

If I recall correctly, anger is one of those stages you have to go through to get to acceptance. Bet it doesn't hurt less to know it, but I love how you imagine her smiling at it. Just lovely.

HLHArts said...

You are absolutely allowed to be angry, and she completely understands every moment of it. That won't be the last moment of anger, and that is alright.

Mel said...

I love this. I love your honesty and your understanding and your sweet heart.
I am thinking of you and hoping for your heart's healing.

Karen Forest said...

I am so sorry for your pain.....

Don't know what else to say. So very sorry....

Avery Gray said...

Kids have it right, don't they? You're upset, you cry. You yell. You throw yourself on the ground. Why do we have to complicate things?

Hope your days are brighter soon!

thordora said...

Hell, nearly 20 years later, I still stamp my feet and yell at my mother for daring to end her own pain and leave me.

A small part of that anger never leaves. It hangs around. But you come to grips with it, eventually.

JCK said...

This was beautiful and painful to read. You have a gift. I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother and how she was taken from you.

Anonymous said...

J:

This time of year, celebrated in the rituals of Hallowween (All Hallows' Eve), Day of the Dead, Samhaim, all recognize that right now the veil between the physical and non-physical realms is the thinest. This means it easier right now for us both to hear to to listen to those who have gone on to their next phaase; the phase we call death.

Not only am I certain your grandmother is very close to you right now, holding you even through your trantrums, but I suspect she may have chosen to leave now when she knew she could communicate to you during your deepest grief. Accept her comfort. Celebrate her life. Ask her questions, right now you might just get answers.

J in the SW

Kevin Charnas said...

Oh Jessica...you know that your feelings are completely natural and valid, don't you? I'm sure that you do...And I don't blame you one bit. I'm not talking to her either.

But, I am hugging both of you...as hard as I can.

Loralee Choate said...

I understand this feeling. I couldn't handle getting mad at my 3 month old for dying on me so I took my anger, wrath and furry out on God.

I look at it this way...He's big enough to take it. Your grandma has to have been a very wise person (Look at her progeny!). She understands. Just like you understand your kids. Like you will understand your grandkids.

In the end, your anger and pain is because you loved her so much. Completely understandable.

notfearingchange said...

oh sweetheart - that was beautiful what you just wrote. Thank you for sharing

Aliki2006 said...

Oh, J.--this is so hard. I was talking with my mom the other day, and although I have felt my grandmother's presence, my mom told me that she hasn't been able to feel that yet. That she's still so hurt and upset by her death that she can't get past it yet. I think these things take time, and it will happen--it really well.

Bastet said...

I am sorry for your loss...

Omaha Mama said...

Anger comes before acceptance. Embrace it before you let it go. I'm sorry for your loss and hope that you will be speaking to your grandma again soon. Then you can both be at peace.

Beck said...

I remember being SO mad at my grandmother for dying and taking away so much of my childhood with her. But now, she's this friendly, loving crochety inner voice, this person who will always love me.
I hope that someday you will feel the same way.

flutter said...

when you're ready, she is too. Souls are like that

Mrs. Chicky said...

Do you have any idea how many times I get pissed off at my mom for leaving me? Too many to count, that's how many. And that's okay because grandmothers and mothers love us no matter what.

KC said...

You're so lucky to have had such a wonderful relationship with her. xo

SUEB0B said...

I feel you, chickie. Hugs.

Stella said...

Thinking of you. You're making total sense and actually doing a great job of letting it out. Shes right there with you

Theresa said...

You are doing just fine. Feeling your feelings. Thanks for showing us how to grieve. We don't honor that need in our culture. And as others have said, your gift of finding humor in pain gives back more than you'll ever know.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

Mourning is a process. Every emotion is true and valid. Good for you for taking the steps.

And cripes I sound so patronizing.

But it's true. And hugs to you, friend.

Cathy said...

She absolutely forgives you. And you know this is far from the first tantrum she's waited out. Grannies, after all, are pros at that sort of thing.

Give yourself time. Because you know she is. Patiently. Lovingly.

painted maypole said...

so honest. thank you. it reminds me of how freed I felt when someone first told me it was OK to be angry at God, to yell at Him, even. That to be in true relationship you have to allow and acknowledge those feelings. Like you for your grandmother. so honest.

Deb said...

You're asking a lot of questions of the heavens lately in your posts. You may not think you're talking to her, but you are.

Adventures in Baby Fat said...

Reading these posts about your dear granny are so painful and yet cathartic for all of us who have experienced what you have. For me, it was my grandfather two and a half years ago, allowing himself to let go, to give in to the cancer.

Gah. I was angry. Angry is okay and has its place too. But a time will come to talk. And she will be there, listening, loving.

Katie said...

My grandmother died in a hospital charting accident. I had seen her two days before at a pre-surgery dinner at her favorite restaurant and two days later I got there too late and she was gone. My grandmother who was full of life and spirit was gone. I felt like someone had literally taken my heart out, spit on it, stomped on it and said here, now you can have it back and try to go on with life, good luck.

I don't think that it's ever easy to lose someone you loved. Watching them pass is even more difficult. Because 6 months after my grandmother died, I held my grandfather's hand while he let go of life, even though I'd seen him that very morning in fine condition.

If I've learned anything in the past few years it is how precious life really is. I try to take comfort in knowing that all those who have died are in a better place, but it's far more difficult to do that than to be the selfish humans we are and just plain want them back.

Your grandmother forgives you. Now be gentle with yourself.

deb said...

It's very normal to feel angry when someone you love die.

And she knows you love her.

~JJ! said...

You'll talk. When you are ready.

I still grieve 18 years later, I feel anger, hatred, fear, love...all at different times...

But I talk. A lot. To her. And I know she's listening.

Your granny will be there when you are ready to talk.

moosh in indy. said...

If she's anything like my granny she's laughing at you and calling you a toad.
Hope you find answers soon.
xoxo

Secret Agent Mama said...

I'm so sorry. I can feel the pain in your words and I just wish there was something more to say, other than, I'm sorry you are in pain. :(

Twisted Cinderella said...

((hugs)) As a granny, she gets it.

Bon said...

my eyes are full of tears.

and i know you know, but she gets it. i'm sure she does. and her spirit will take you in and fold you in its bosom whenever you're ready. and it will never be the same...but it will be okay.

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh sweetie. (((HUGS))) It's so normal to be angry at someone you love for leaving you. Even if it's irrational. When you're ready, she'll be there to listen. I know she will.

And I'm here now.

jeanie said...

Stamp away! I think sometimes the deceased must have moments too where they wish they could be back and hold on and say the things unsaid.

Every path of grief is different, you travel your own and feel free to play it your way.

Jo Beaufoix said...

You are amazing.
And your Gran is probably laughing away at you wherever she is.I'm sure when you're ready to talk she'll be there listening.

Amy said...

Smiles and hugs and tears from me to you. I miss my grandmother too. Lost her when I was 18 and now just wish she could have known my daughter. She'd have been (she is SO right now) enchanted by and in love with my daughter.