I write about almost everything. Like so many other writers, I use my gift for writing as an outlet. Writing helps me to relieve stress, excise my demons, and express emotions. I can’t answer for every other writer in the world, but I tend to write more when I am struggling emotionally than during times of ease when I am… comfortable. In fact, I’ve written several eulogies. I’ve written poems, essays, and stories for most of my lost loved ones. I even wrote one about my friend’s father when he passed. I had such a deeply emotional connection with my friend and suffered through her dad’s illness and passing with her in such a way that his death weighed heavily on me. I wrote it as a way to help me grieve with her, and in turn it also helped those who read it to grieve the loss of the “gentle man” they loved so much. People who mean a great deal to me tend to evoke strong emotions. almost inevitably leading to some form of written work at some point, but there is one woman I have never been able to write for and it frustrates me beyond belief.
There are two women in my life who have shown me more kindness, love, and support than I could have ever asked for, more than I deserved. I depended on them more than I should and took them for granted and never dreamed I would lose them as early as I did. I have written in my blog about my ex-mother-in-law, “Boobie”. If you’ll read my Word of the Week “Epitaph”, you can read the poem I wrote about her. She died a year ago today in a terrible accident. It was sudden and completely unexpected. She was 51 years old. The entire situation was so incredibly emotional, confusing, and overwhelming! The words just poured out of me as I wrote her poem, like someone else was writing them. That is often the case when I am writing through extreme emotion.
The most important woman in my world…
My grandmother was the most important woman in my life. She practically raised me. For most of my life, she was more of a mother to me than my mother was. She taught me to cook, sewed my dresses by hand, potty trained me, made me dolls and blankets, took me in every time my mother couldn’t cope, taught me to drive, and literally saved my life more than once. After my divorce, she put a roof over my head and never asked for a dime. She helped me pay for car repairs, medical bills, and student loans. Summer of 2012 she helped nurse me back to health when I miscarried twins last year. She copied all of her recipes and had them bound into a cookbook, and when she discovered she was fatally ill and only had weeks to live, she gave me what little money she could. On her death bed she made me promise to take care of her cat, Libby. I would probably die for Libby. She and that cookbook are nearly the only things I have left of my grandma.
On my grandma’s last birthday I bought her a card. I knew she didn’t have long left to live and I wanted her to know how much I loved and appreciated her. I could never say or do enough to express my love, but I had learned the hard way with Boobie that you can’t pass up an opportunity to tell someone how much you love them. I couldn’t allow her to leave this earth without telling her.
You are the most important woman in my life. I’m so sorry I didn’t get to spend your birthday with you but I heard you had a really good time and that makes me happy. I can’t even count all of the wonderful memories we have together and I can honestly say I don’t recall any bad ones. You’re more than any girl could ask for in a grandma. I’m glad Grandpa, Dad, and Uncle Craig found you and kept you because I wouldn’t want anyone else as my grandma. I love you always and forever and I will always be your little girl.
She died three weeks later.
Waiting for the words…
I sat in the living room with my family and watched my grandmother die. From the time her breathing changed until she passed, she took 23 breaths. I sat on my “father’s” lap and watched her slip away, gasping for air. Her funeral would be just three days later. In those three days I waited. I waited for the emotion to overtake me and smother me in that realm that always finds me. I waited for the words, but they never came.
It’s been eight months since she died. I still can’t find the words and it kills me. I need those words to come to me. I need to heal, and I don’t feel like I can without the words. My aunt posted on Facebook the other day that she was missing Grandma more than usual that particular day. I wanted to reach out to her, perhaps spend some time alone with her talking about my Grandma but I didn’t. I feel as if I haven’t paid a proper tribute to my grandma because I can’t find the words, and until I find them, I am not so sure I am ready to talk to anyone about it. I don’t feel I am worthy of supporting my family as they grieve because of the hole inside of me. I feel I have failed her, and my family, in some way. I need those words to fill that hole, and I am so angry they won’t come. Losing her is the biggest loss I have ever suffered. Shed died fairly young and her illness was unexpected and her passing was swift. She drifted away before I was ready to lose her and now I feel like I’m ready for the words but they won’t come, perhaps because she wasn’t supposed to be gone yet? I don’t know why they evade me but I will continue to sit in wait for the words.