Looking on the “Insights” tab of my stats, it’s clear to see how little I’ve been posting. It’s also extremely clear when you look through my archive. I was looking through my archive the other day, because I’m planning out a blog overhaul (keep an eye out for changes!), and made a startling realization: my posting frequency dropped off significantly with the passing of my grandmother.
Grama and I were extremely close. She was, by far, my closest relative. Since then, I’ve been having an odd kind of identity crisis. I’ve also been struggling with a deep and different kind of depression than I’m used to… I’m used to depression, I’ve been struggling with it for most of my life, but this is somehow completely different. I didn’t even really realize that it was happening until I made the realization about my blog posting and started thinking about it.
How do you recover from a month of crazy emotional stress, travel stress, chronic illness, and allergy testing?
Zofran, Tramadol, two Benadryl, two Excedrin Extra Strength
I just got home from my allergy testing, and this is the first thing I did. Well, technically the second. This has just been the most ridiculous month, and definitely not in a good way. Grama passed on the 3rd, and now suddenly it’s the 19th. I do not know what exactly happened to the month of April, but I do know it has been a giant ball of stress of all kinds.
The death of my grandmother has left a massive void in my life. There were many milestones I never imagined my grandmother missing. Some, I naturally realized she wouldn’t be around for, but others I just assumed she’d be there for.
Right now, I find myself struggling the most with my upcoming graduation. I always assumed Grama would be able to attend my college graduation, and I was already struggling with the fact that she wouldn’t be able to physically be in Colorado for it… but I figured I’d be able to call her that day and be all excited and be like “Oh my gosh I did it!” and then show her pictures and video and my diploma. At least I’d gotten a chance to tell her I’d officially applied and been accepted to graduate and the date, but that is it. She hadn’t even gotten to see a picture of the cap and gown.
Yes, it’s from PBS Kids. I did have an odd time accepting that I was getting information from a site designed for kids, which I told Dan. However, Dan read through parts of the site, and said that it definitely wasn’t “childish” in any way. It really is a site with good information, and it seems to have really helped me process some things.
I read through all the relevant portions of this site before bed the other night, and woke up feeling a little better. At night (as you sleep), your brain does work through things at a subconscious level.
Today, however, I am having a little bit of a rougher time. I had a really odd dream. We picked up my grandparents (both of them) and we were taking them to my parents’ house for a party. Tons of people were there: my whole family, all our friends, people I can’t remember now that I’m awake. Once we got to the house, no one could seem to get Grama out of the car. She was also shrinking and was really fragile. I finally crawled into the car and managed to squirm myself under her and then carefully shuffled out of the car and we got her into a wheelchair, but she was tiny and almost just skin and bones. It was really odd. Then I got called into the house. Suddenly, people were disappearing. I went back to find my family members and they were gone, then my friends were gone. I was panicked and suddenly I was all on my own. I was standing in my parents’ backyard (but of course, it was just a little off) surrounded by lots of giant, loud frogs and wondering why I was suddenly all alone. Then I woke up.
Obviously, that dream is full of potential symbolism. I can definitely see why it made me a little emotionally shakey. Overall, however, I’m definitely doing better than I was a few days ago. I have a better grasp on how I’m feeling now, and I can slowly start to tackle my emotions one small piece at a time.
Grief is complicated and this grief is really deep. It’s all consuming and words are fleeting. I will probably post a lot of things related to it for quite some time. There will be other posts too, but they don’t mean I’m suddenly “better” … Honestly, I doubt I’ll ever fully be “better” because I was incredibly close with Grama; I just know someday I won’t cry as easily or often and thinking of her will let me smile. Thank you for your loving patience in the meantime. (Saying “I’m sorry” and “I love you” like a broken record is perfectly acceptable because even I don’t know what I need to hear.)
I will attempt to start posting something on a more regular basis once again, since I’m now back home. I’ll be leaving again soon for the service, but that’ll only be for a weekend. Those posts may simply take the form of some Zazzle plugs for a bit though, or similar, as I process what’s happening internally.
It’s interesting how, in this time of intense emotional pain, the link between brain and body can be so tangible. I’m in intense emotional pain and it’s messing with my body. I’m getting random aches and pains that shouldn’t be happening, my IBS is acting up (which is definitely something that can be emotionally triggered), and even then I know my headache medication is working I’ve suddenly gotten a bad headache going again. Ugh. Maybe my brain knows I can kind if handle physical pain and is trying to “help” by making it more “manageable” or something? I don’t know. But the link is interesting to notice.
It’s really weird watching life go on around you when you and your family are impacted by something so personally traumatic. Like, on an intellectual level I really do understand that life goes on. Of course it does. Why would anyone else care that my grandmother passed away? That sounds awful. I mean, people are understanding and kind, but people die every day and if you didn’t know her why would you care? Of course life goes on. But it’s weird going online or walking around and hearing people laughing and posting jokes and enjoying life while I’m struggling with emotions and feeling numb and feeling depressed and reminiscing and loving my grandmother and thinking about life and death. It’s just a really weird thing. Here I am, feeling like the life I knew just kind of ended in a way, and watching life just march right on while wishing I could just stop it long enough to get everything handled and sorted out. I’ve been lucky in that I can pause as much as I can, and that Dan has been able to as well. I just wish I didn’t have things like homework to think about and that Dan didn’t need to worry about work and homework. But, somehow, life just keeps on going.