the saddest week

What can I say about this week except… it was a blur, a sad, anxiety-provoking blur. I spent a good part of it surrounded by stacks of photographs and creating video slideshows for the funeral. M suffered my tears and devotion to photos valiantly, and went to daycare twice. I also had to write my speech and practice the piano for the song I was playing. Oh and put together the memory table. Pretty much planned the funeral, set up the sound and visual equipment, picked out the music. Here is the life video I made:

Now there’s the house, the assessing and selling of it, the cleaning out of it, the buying of the gravestones. And the whole time I keep thinking, oh I have to tell my grandma about this! At the funeral and at the cemetery, I kept suddenly thinking, who has grandma in their car? I took photos of my cousins swimming that night, thinking, “I have to show these to grandma.” And then, oh yes, there is no grandma now.

Family came in. I think the meetings with the three children about the estate went well, but the weekend was not without family drama. It was upsetting to me in a general way to see my grandma’s house, my childhood home, torn apart and belongings dispersed. It’s just a general feeling of loss on top of the loss of her as a person. It’s the loss of a place I called home, the presence of which had always been my security, my blankie, my safety net.

I even had some anxiety yesterday and had to go home a while and just lie down. I haven’t felt so panicky in years. It passed, though. Now I’m back to work, which I guess feels somewhat normal. I have our airline tickets to California to visit my friend, and I’m trying to feel enthusiastic about it but it’s certainly not easy. Everyone wants to know where I’m going or what I’m doing but to be honest, for the first time since childhood, I don’t feel like planning or doing anything. I kinda just want to lie down in my bed, curl into a ball, and have nothing unexpected happen for a while.

M was wonderful for the funeral and the graveside ceremony. Just really well-behaved. I’ve been so proud of her. She’s had to absorb my anxiety and my grief, tension within the family, losing both of her great-grandparents, and a routine that was far from normal for over a week. She’s expressed her own anxiety, asking my mom if she was going to die now. She’s comforted me when I cried and needed to cry and be comforted. She’s clung to me and refused to go and play or swim unless I’m with her.

Everything just feels odd and like a parody of itself. The fact that my grandmother is not calling and leaving messages for me. The fact that she never will again. The weirdness of her home on the hill with no her in it. The apocalypse of my childhood mind. The distorted horror-film like memories of her death, of my mom and uncles releasing doves into the sky in the cemetery, of holding her ashes in their box and lowering them into a hole. This just doesn’t seem like real life. Any moment I’ll wake up and shake off this dream.

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