Grief is a funny thing. Mostly because different people respond in different ways. My grandma died in 2015, October to be exact. I remember it very clear even though sometimes I block it out so much I forget what year and what day she died. I just know it feels like she has been gone forever. I remember being annoyed....annoyed with her because she had kept telling me NOT to come see her. I had just met my husband, then my boyfriend and I KNEW she would love him and wanted her to meet him.
But she kept telling me NO and I didn't know why. She had been in and out of the hospital, my mom had just spent a full week down there (in Mississippi)spending time with her and I was like "How does she get to come and I can't??) Haha, so silly now. I honestly don't even remember what the last conversation was that we had. The only thing I can remember is just wanting to see her. My mom was frustrated because my aunts were being difficult and unruly and she was so stressed out. My sister and I had already planned a trip to the beach in October and we had the idea to invite her to come with us. See a couple of months before we were supposed to go on a family trip to the beach for her birthday, but she had to be rushed to emergency surgery because she had an ulcer. So already the year had been extra crazy and overwhelming so we just needed a break.
My aunts kept saying things were bad, but they weren't giving a whole lot of details and honestly it's more of a toll than they understand for one person to keep driving back and forth to Mississippi for false alarms (Just being honest, this is a whole nother story). She gladly came with us and it was the most peaceful and fun time we've ever had, just a great girls trip. But the calls kept coming. My husband (boyfriend then) and I had already planned to go down to Mississippi when I got back from Florida so I told my mom, I would check in and give her an update because now my aunts were saying things were really bad. So on my way back to Birmingham my husband calls me and says my car broke down. Now, granted just two months before that HIS car broke down which meant we had NO CAR! So when I got back to Birmingham we just got a rental and decided to just deal with the car situation later so we could go ahead and go to Mississippi. On the way down God spoke to me and told me this would be the last time I saw my grandma. I knew it. And I knew He was preparing me for the worst because no one had to tell me. My grandma and I always had a spiritual connection, which brings me to why I don't talk about her a whole lot now that she is gone.
When we got to her house, my aunt answered the door, I walked in and I saw her in the bed. My first reaction was anger (which I am still getting over a little bit) because my aunts didn't tell my mom that my grandma was in a comatose state and wasn't even talking. It hurt me so bad because I was going to have to be the one to tell her. I felt they needed to be adults and just be honest with my mom, but that is a whole 'nother story. My husband stayed in the living room because I think he felt it as well and let me have my time. The first thing I told my grandma is "I'm here, I came grandma, I am here, I love you!" Nothing. This is why I don't talk about her much because I knew and I could feel her presence and I knew she was happy, but I knew she was frustrated as hell because she couldn't talk back and I KNEW, I knew she was tired and wanted to release, but I knew she was waiting on me because she kept telling me not to come, but she knew I would. The room was basically silent except for me saying "I love you" I could only sit there for a little while because I just couldn't stand to see her in that state. So I leaned forward and I kissed her and I said. "I love you, it's okay to let go okay, I love you so much."
I kissed her for the last time and I said goodbye to my aunt and my husband and I got in the car and went back to Birmingham. On the way back my mom called me and told me my grandma had passed away. I was good all the way up until we got back to the house in the bedroom and I broke down. I cried one other time at the funeral for a whole lot of other reasons, but not because I was sad but there was just a whole lot going on.
I haven't talked a whole lot about this because I have peace. I have peace knowing my grandma is no longer in pain, peace knowing she doesn't have to argue with not one person about who she is, peace knowing that God has a plan for everything. I don't talk about it a whole lot because my response to my grandma's death is not "normal" I am supposed to post long statuses on Facebook about how much I miss her and have a hard time loving my husband or being accessible to him because I feel like something is missing. I am supposed to be dedicating every important aspect of my life to her and dedicating my success to her memory, but I'm not. Wanna know why? Because of my grandma. My grandma had been preparing us for her death for years. She had been saying for years, don't do a whole big thing when I die, LIVE YOUR LIFE! Don't be caught up on me! Shoot she didn't want us to be caught up on her when she was alive, she just didn't have much of a choice. My grief is JUST DIFFERENT. I have learned this over time. I cannot judge anyone else and their grief, but what I don't like is when someone tries to drag you over to their method of grieving. I am not running around here telling people if they talk about those that passed away in their lives and do memorials that they are wrong. Because I have witnessed someone do that before and that was the exact thing they did when someone died. I believe you have to let people do and believe in what they want. This is my way. Not talking about my grandma doesn't mean I don't love or miss her. I miss her everyday, think about her everyday.
But I honor her by kicking butt on my job and in my business, by loving on my husband and working out things in the most difficult situations. I will honor her when my first child is born by saying a prayer of thanks to God and dedicating the child to Christ. This is my way. There is nothing wrong with it and there's nothing wrong with your way either! Check out this blog post on Ebone K's 5 tips to Navigate the Grief Cycle.