In the crazy, upside-down-ness of my life right now, I have been trying to process some things. It’s probably not the best time to process, since I can’t seem to get any distance in order to look at things objectively, but life keeps going on and that means that I process as is. Which means I am turning inside-out. Taking the very marrow of my bones and calling it my whole life right now.
It’s hard to lose a grandma that I wasn’t ready to lose. My grandma’s sister told me at the funeral that my grandma had told her a few weeks prior to her death about how we had moved to California. How she knew she would probably never see me again because of it. Every time I think about that, I cry.
There’s a lot of loss in moving; even when you are excited about the move. I not only lost certain things that just won’t fit in our new house, I lost my ten-year old, beloved coffee maker that just didn’t survive the move. That coffee maker was given to me by a friend that lived with us years ago. She used to make sugar cookies with my little girls and clean my clock in every single game she played with me. And now, she lives a half a country away with her own beautiful little family that she makes sugar cookies with and will eventually teach them how to play the games that she is so good at, I am sure. I am so happy for her and her new life, and yet I’ve lost that old life and it will never come again. I’ve lost one of my best friends who moved with her family to another country, a half a world away and her kids have gone on growing and I don’t know them though I love them like my own. I’ve lost my doctor, my dentist, my grocery store, my pharmacy. I’ve lost my best friend from high school that has lived within walking distance of my house for the bulk of the last 30 years. I haven’t lost her friendship, but I’ve lost meeting in the middle at a moment’s phone call and taking a quick walk around the neighborhood while we catch up, which means I’ve lost her friendship as I have always known it. I’ve lost watching the news every morning while I drink my coffee because I now start work at 6am and there is just no time for news and we don’t have tv anymore anyway. I’ve not only lost one daughter who got married and is physically gone, but I’ve lost all those little girls I once had. I’ve lost the knowledge of what exactly to do and how exactly to be a mom as the issues have turned so incredibly complicated. I love them all so much and I have not lost the love, but there is definitely a loss in our children growing up that every mother feels.
And now I’ve lost my grandma that I naively thought I would have for another ten years. The hole feels bigger than I think it’s supposed to feel. I’ve lost the games of Scrabble, the late night talks about the days when she was first married to my grandpa, the undying love and support she always had for her family. She was so incredibly proud of us. So incredibly proud of me. It’s a big loss and I’m feeling it.
I’ve lost what WAS, is what this really is. And I don’t yet know what WILL BE and so I’m here in the grieving time. This grieving time is what IS right now for me. I know that being in a new place and having so much unfamiliar right now is feeding this grief. I know that. I really just wanted that familiar part of my life to hang on a little longer.
I do love my new house and I love my new friends and I love the weather here and I love my grown-up children who talk about things that matter and sometimes give unexpected but much desired hugs and kisses and call me out of the blue from a half a country away to tell me they love me and make me laugh my head off with joy when they are just simply being them. And I love the life that has been passed down to me from my grandma. I love what I have while I grieve what I’ve lost and that sometimes feels bigger than I know how to handle. I heard a friend say tonight that there really is no love without grief. That’s sinking deep into my marrow tonight. I know I want the love and that means I must figure out how to live with the grief.
In my search for the familiar lately, I have discovered that the same sun rises every morning and the same moon rises every evening. And both of those events happen facing the same direction off my front porch, which is helpful to me these days. I try to catch these familiar events every day and it helps. It really helps.
The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected – Robert Frost