thoughts on sadness, loss, and love

last week, almost a week ago now, we found out that my mom’s mom had passed away.

it hit me like a goddamn truck.

which i wasn’t really expecting. the sudden sucker-punch feeling. or her death. both were totally surreal.

i think the winded feeling the sadness gave me was due largely to my leading a pretty lucky life – i haven’t lost too many people. my step-grandfather. a friend from high school. those are the two that stand out in my emotional memory. but those hit me in different ways, and i was younger. and now i’m a bit older, and i guess my emotional personality has evolved somehow. this phone call tilted my entire world (to borrow a phrase from my dad). i sat on the porch and cried. i cried on the phone to my boyfriend. i cried in the dark, on the couch, while watching a disney movie with a roommate (who proved himself to be a fantastic friend, by the way). i cried in the bathroom at work for five random minutes. it has been a draining week, y’all.

but the weird silver lining here is that i have rediscovered my appreciation for the people in my life. my parents, with whom i have a spectacular and honest and loving relationship. my boyfriend, who calls in the middle of the night to stay on the phone until i’m done being sad. my friends i’ve made at work, who took me out to dinner the next day and helped me laugh. then they bought me a potted begonia and it made me smile. my co-workers who told me to take my time, to take a short day, who signed a card telling me they loved me and wanted me to be okay. my friends who listened to rambling sad emails and replied with “this is normal, i promise” when i was freaked out by how the hell to react. i have a fucking fantastic support network. that is what this has reminded me of.

i think right now i can write this because, well, i had two stiff drinks with college friends and sometimes that lets me let my guard down. but i’ve also had a week of thinking. and mourning. and what i realize is that, quite simply, no matter how long you live, life is too short. always. for me, part of what makes me happy is writing. blogging. pouring my thoughts into the world. so this helps. it’s therapy. it helps to have normalcy – dinner, movies, laughing – but it also helps (me, at least – everyone is different) to have some alone time to process. i think the new processing method, moving forward, will involve more writing. i will still call the people i love to say hi or to be sad if i need to. but i sometimes do my best emotional work when it’s just me with me.

so. this is a thank you to every single person who called, emailed, sent me a private message, or hugged me when they saw me. you have no idea (or maybe you do) how much that means to me. you might not be able to make it all better, but you make it a bit easier to deal with the sudden shock of death. i love you all so much it makes my head spin.