Death week

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.


Rachael said...

Peace to you, and your family.

Emily said...

"...And then began to tell Jeremy how much she liked him and not to worry about haters."

That made me laugh out loud. :D

"...3 out of 4 people involved in that memory are dead."

That socked me straight in the gut.

I want for you to not have a load this heavy. You'll be on my mind this week.

Janet Cunningham said...

Veronica, So sorry for your pain at losing these three precious people in your life. You said that they no longer exist and I wanted to remind you that they do. They live in your memories and heart and that is a great blessing to have had these people share a part of your life. I understand that it doesn't make the pain or grief any easier to bear and knowing how much you give yourself to those you love it has to be especially hard. Because of your great love for others I pray that you will be able to know and feel their love in return as you navigate "waters" you never expected to be in. Love You!

gluenberger6226@ameritech.net said...

You are right - you do not figure it out. We have to accept the realities of life, Trust God, and go forward, as you courageously have, because there is no going back. God bless you and yours.

Paloma said...

I am sooo sorry for your losses... all of them. I am sorry you are going through such hard times... and I am thankful you have someone to share it all with... thank you also for sharing with us... My prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

Good for your Grandma Wanda! She sounds like a wonderful person who took joy in embracing her family, and I'm so sorry you lost her.

Cadie said...

I am so sorry you are having a tough week. You are right, death sucks. I will be thinking and praying that this week turns around for you.
(I have never commented before, but have been reading your blog for a while now, and love it. You seem to be able to put your feelings into words beautifully.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, love to you all!

Anonymous said...

Knowing that the bible tells us God will never give us more than we can handle... Must truly irritate you on weeks like this....My first reaction was to be irritated for you... Then I took a breath, and was reminded of some of the good things God has done with your tragedy .... Got irritated again because I find myself still asking why did any of this happen to a God loving family!??
Yet, I am humbled.. By the amazing Love and Grace I have seen God shower on you and your amazing family.
My last thoughts are I can't begin to understand where your emotional heart is landing after this week, I thank God for answering our prayers for you and your family.
Thank you for sharing your journey so that we can all enjoy the way God always is there, even when it sucks!

Cari P

Heather Smith said...

So sorry for your loss.


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