I am in the midst of one of the toughest grieving weeks of the year for me. Last week it began with my wedding anniversary with Jeremy. Then, Friday I received the news that my Grandma Wanda passed away due to some complications after a surgery. Devastating. Today (Wednesday) is her birthday, and also the death anniversary of my brother, Brian. This week my mom will have her birthday as well. Needless to say, it's been a rough week.
One of my favorite memories of my Grandma Wanda took place while preparing for my brother's graduation party. Jeremy and I were down in the basement with Brian, putting together a decorated box to collect all the cards for the day. Upstairs, my other very rude Grandmother started bickering about how I wasn't helping and how ungrateful I must be while my parents would be paying for our wedding (Jeremy and I were engaged). These accusations were of course ungrounded and false, but she just likes to have something to complain about. My 4-foot-something spitfire Grandma Wanda starts yelling from the basement sticking up for me and telling her to shut her mouth. And then began to tell Jeremy how much she liked him and not to worry about haters.
I share this story because it hit me suddenly yesterday while I was sharing it with Steve that 3 out of 4 people involved in that memory are dead.
Not here anymore.
How is that possible?!
It was too much for me to understand. It's just not right. And to top it all off, it's all flooding me in the same week, at the same time. Three precious lives that have meant so much to me in different ways no longer exist. Yesterday, I'm pretty sure I cried at the drop of a hat - all of it was weighing on me.
Today I had made plans to stay distracted. But what was really pulling on my heart was to face grief. I needed to spend the day with my parents and grieve this horrible day last year when I felt my brother die in my hands. I wanted them to know how much Brian was and is loved. I want them to know I'm still here, still hurting with them, still healing. So we cancelled our plans and headed to my hometown to my brother's grave. What a sight it was to see today:
So many people had already been there today. Notes, pictures, flowers, plants, keepsakes - everyone leaving pieces behind. We added to the bunch with letters from the kids, flowers and balloons.
It felt right to be there.
Inevitably, when I face grief, it all gets mixed together - I grieved for Brian, Jeremy, and Grandma Wanda today.
It was heavy, but necessary.
You'd think the more people you lose close to you, the better you'd get at figuring this stuff out. Turns out it doesn't work that way. It just sucks every time.
I'll be glad when the week is over.