lonely.

15 Feb

I feel sad, today, and so I decided to post this entry that I wrote about a month ago, about my grandmother’s death:

My grandmother died this past Saturday. Since then, horrible euphemisms, like “expired” and “passed” have been popping up all around me; I hate them all, they’re so fake and flimsy.

My grandmother didn’t expire, she isn’t milk or yogurt that someone left alone too long.

She is gone, though, which is something to be reckoned with.

Attending her visitation and funeral these past two days has been one of the most profoundly lonely and angry times of recent memory.

My grandmother was a wonderful person: she was quietly graceful, humble, giving, caring, inclusive. She loved everyone completely, and encouraged everyone around her. She was the family pillar, and raised five children admirably and lovingly. She was a beloved community member; 200+ people came to her visitation to express their condolences. The thing is, as I’ve been reflecting on her life, as I knew her, and as I’ve been rummaging through old photo albums…I’m not sure that she was ever happy.

In almost all of the pictures I could find of her, she is staring straight ahead, stoically, poised and stiff. She is rarely smiling. There are some moments of joy, yes, and I know that my grandfather and her cared for each other deeply. But I also sense this lurking feeling of repression, of hushed desires.

I tried to meet these past couple of days with the grace that she taught me.

And I found myself utterly unequal to the task.

I am angry and lonely; I am monstrous and motionless.

She’s gone, but she can’t be gone.

Suddenly, where she used to stand, there is empty space.

I can’t understand it.

There are all these loose ends now; with her, before, all ends were perfectly and gracefully and reassuringly tied.

I miss her, and I miss my dad.

I’m so angry at him for marrying my stepmom. I know it’s unfair, and in the rational part of my brain I recognize that I want him to be happy. But, put simply, I feel erased.

I feel my childhood washing away, somehow. Like all the smiles have been sucked out; like I’ve been replaced by a whitewashed past.

Dad’s not proud of the divorce, so we don’t speak of it.

All these quelled desires, all these stoic stares.

We aren’t his kids anymore, not like we used to be.

We’re autonomous and drifting.

And I’m so angry about it. I’m angry that he drove with his new wife and two stepkids to the funeral and left Josh and I alone. I’m angry that New Wife pipes up with an answer every time I try and speak directly to Dad. I’m angry that there’s no alone time with him anymore; all time spent with him must also be spent with New Wife, too, under the auspices of “creating a family.” I’m angry that the picture of him, Josh, and I above Grandma’s fireplace has been taken down, and replaced with a picture of him and her. I’m angry that he’s told her all my deep, old, kid secrets, but won’t talk candidly to me about her, her past, her identity. I’m angry that his love for Josh and I diminished when he married her. I haven’t been able to keep it in.

And, I know that these few days were about Grandma.

And, I know that his mother just died. The cornerstone of his family, the homemaker and peacemaker, has died. I know all this.

A cousin assured Josh and I yesterday that he “has experience with Blended Families.”

He assured us that “it will get better.”

It won’t get better.

It is all gone.

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