Saturday, December 06, 2008

Halloween might be a month gone, but the spirits ... they do linger

The holiday season is a bit rough this year. Last year, between July and December, I lost three grandmothers. Within less than a handful of months, my husband had lost his remaining grandparents as well. But sometimes you're not so sure how it's going to hit you. You're not sure how you're going to remember. And when you're hit with back to back sadness, you react a little different. You get a little numb. Well, at least I did. And it takes a little while to let go again.

It was a year ago Friday that the third of my grandmothers died. This one, she was also my second mom. I grew up with she and my grandfather down the hall. She was there to offer advice, a nightly hug, offer perspective, critique my writing, understand my poetry and so much more. Did I mention she was also the third grandmother to die within 6 months? I was in a bit of a daze of death by this point. Cried out. Griefed out. It still hit me ... but I kind of felt that the tears of the third were somehow less than the first. Each just as missed, me just as sad ... but simply dried out. In a daze. Or perhaps, I rather wonder, I was just unwilling to believe it was true.

But I'm making up for lost tears this last week or so ...

It started just before Thanksgiving.

I was minding my own business. Working. Working. Working. Listening to the radio online as I worked. And then it stopped.

It just stopped.


For some folks, the internet going down might be a regular thing. But for us, it's a blessedly rare thing. But early in the afternoon, it went down. But I needed to focus, I needed some tunes to block out the background.

And so I plugged my headphones into my iPhone and clicked on the Dixie Chicks. All was swell and good until a certain song. A song about death. And grief. And missing loved ones. A song about a Silent House. A song that hits a little close. And I started to cry. Freeflow cry. And then it hit me ... Thanksgiving was later this year, and the last time I saw my grandma was just after 2007 Thanksgiving. Could it be? No. That would be too weird ... and yet it was true. It was the anniversary of the last time I saw my grandma alive. Perhaps even down to the hour. It totally snuck up on me. In a busy time of year where I can barely keep track of the days, my subconscious ... or the spirits ... wouldn't let me forget. I was a wreck the rest of the day. Good thing I didn't have any meetings ...

I managed through Thursday, the actually anniversary of her death. I was a bit nostalgic. A bit sad. But not a crying wreck. But then there was Friday ... I took Dec. 5 off. The kids had the day off school. The husband was out of town for training. The friend needed help with making her fundraiser chocolates. It was a good day to take a break. It wasn't until I was mid-light-crying in between chocolate batches, as I shared the pre-Thanksgiving tale, that I was reminded by a dear friend that, oddly, it was exactly a year ago that I was in her kitchen ... also making chocolates. And also crying. After this grandma's death last year, I took a day off to get it together. Quite dazed, I was in no shape for work. But didn't want to be left with my mind's thoughts uninterrupted, either, and so last year I was a last-minute volunteer. And this year, apparently I was back for a coincidental anniversary encore.

At least I was in a house where eerie grandmother moments were not foreign ...

I feel like the spirits decided to stay and play after this year's All Souls Day.

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