Friday, October 29, 2004

"One often calms ones grief by recounting it."

My grandmother died two weeks ago today. It's strange to me when I feel like my world is crashing and everyone around me is going on as if nothing has happened. Sometimes I just want to stand up and scream "I'm grieving, won't you just help me." But I guess that's what happens when I'm surrounded by those who don't know the person for whom I grieve. I desperately want someone to say "tell me about your grandmother," so I can just pour forth the memories that, while stuck inside me feel like they're eating me alive.

But in the midst of the pain, God blessed me so much with the opportunity to go home for a few days to see my family and attend the funeral. It was a blessing shrouded in pain, but a blessing none the less. I've discovered in the past few years that there is nothing so painful as seeing your parents cry. When my stepdad died, I had to stand by and watch my mother so broken that I didn't know if our family could survive. Now, I've seen my dad and my aunts and uncles stand over a casket and choke out the words "I miss you mama." I almost couldn't handle it. I'm not sure how well I did handle it. I stood to the side and wrapped my arms tightly around myself, physically trying to hold it all together.

My cousins bunched around my grandmother's body, crying and touching her. I couldn't do it though. That wasn't my grandmother lying there. She was gone, and I wanted nothing more than to see her again. To sit in her living room and watch the Wheel of Fortune together. I wanted her to tell me I was beautiful and call me Sugar and to exclaim "Well Do!" when I told her something interesting. I had so many regrets. Why didn't I call more? Why didn't I spend more time with her while I was home?

But God knew the cries of a grieving, angry, hurting heart. I turned away from the casket, and my Aunt Sissy took me in her arms and whispered in my ear "Your Grandma loved you so much. Never forget that." That's all I needed. To know that in spite of all of my mess ups, she still loved me. Part of me still doesn't understand why God took two people I loved in such a manner when I was far from home, but more and more I'm learning that there are many things that God does that I will never understand. Maybe I don't need to.

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