Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Stuck and confused

I'm in this... weird space, lodged somewhere between sad and angry.  I'm feeling all these... feelings, and they're confusing me.  (In keeping with the mindfulness I've been exploring of late, I'm doing my best to sit in those feelings and feel them.)

I'm not sure just how much I'm "allowed" to grieve, given the long-standing estrangement.  I kinda feel like I'm not entitled to be sad because a) I spent so much time feeling angry (because angry is easier than sad), and b) there are others who have more... right, I guess, to feel the loss simply by virtue of the fact that they spoke to him more recently than a year ago. 

I was saddened to realize that I don't have pictures of my grandfather, even from my childhood, when I saw that my siblings had posted his picture on facebook.  Then, I felt uncomfortable, because I realized it might look... "bad" if I posted his picture in tribute as well - like I was a hypocrite or just looking for attention.  Which led to feelings of being judged (in my head) (by Nick, specifically) (but I realize that this is just a response to feeling guilty for how things played out in the past ten years - I don't know for sure that he does judge me for how I handled myself then or now).

There will not be a "formal" funeral, but a celebration of life instead.  I went from being angry enough after the first scene to declare that I wouldn't be attending a funeral, only to be chided by Mom not to make any hasty decisions.  After being able to see him that day and giving it some additional thought, I changed my mind and said I would go, the same way we did when Great Grandma passed away: as late as possible, sitting in the back row (not with the "family" - we learned our lesson the hard way with Great Grandpa's funeral), and quietly slipping out at the end of the service - able to pay our respects with no fuss (only to then have Mom said she wouldn't go, and change her mind again and say she WOULD go).  Once we discovered that it would be more open-format (read: a room full of the same "family" who judged and condemned us without once asking for our side of the story in ten years milling about, all eyes on the door as new visitors enter), we both decided we weren't comfortable going.  I know it sounds childish to say I won't go if my mommy's not going, but in a situation like this, it definitely feels like a matter of safety in numbers.

To be honest?  I'm relieved to not be putting myself in the position of another painful scene in front of a much larger audience.

So, yeah.  I feel like I'm in no-man's land, and it's kind of uncomfortable.  Not quite sure what to make of these emotions, nor how to deal with them.  To be all dippy-hippie, I have a feeling that part of the reason this is so hard for me is that I'm finally starting to grieve my lost relationship with my grandfather, as well as the loss of my grandfather.  I'm just kind of... here, but not.  A huge thank you to all of you who have offered kind words of love and support here, on Twitter, on facebook, and via email - I can't tell you how much it means to me. Pin It

14 comments:

  1. It doesn't matter if you guys were estranged, if you didn't have a good relationship or what.  You're allowed to grieve however you want and acknowledge those feelings.

    I felt somewhat similar when my grandfather died last summer when it came to all the Facebooking of pics and the like.  All these feeling just crept to the surface.

    I hope it gets better.

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  2. You have the right to feel your grief however you choose. I'm sending love and prayers, Chibi... 

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  3. There are so many ways to grieve, it doesn't have to be at a funeral or anything. Find your own special way of doing it.

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  4. We are all entitled to experience emotions. Estrangement does not end connection, just interaction. You heart has a memory. Don't be embarrassed or afraid, but be careful. You may need to express these feelings somewhere that is safe. I think I might know someone willing to listen :)

    xo

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  5. love to you chibi. nothing but love.

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  6. In terms of going or not, I only think you should go if you feel it will bring you comfort and closure. If not, then there's no need to attend. There are other ways to say goodbye, ceremony or not, outwardly or not. And whatever you decide is totally ok.

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  7. Chibi-


    I don't know anything about anything. Just ask my wife.

    But I think I do know this: grief has no schedule, no rules, no protocol. It respects no beliefs. It doesn't care what you want. It's going to come, stay as long as it likes, and drink all the good beer.

    Don't let anyone, including me, tell you how to feel about any of it. If someone begins a sentence with, "Well, you shouldn't be feeling...", please ignore whatever follows, because the speaker is full of it.

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  8. I agree. You have a right to grieve. 

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  9. Maybe you should have your own funeral of sorts. Invite some close friends and your mom and do something that feels right (it might be you speaking a bit about what he meant to you in life, even though you had been estranged....or it might look totally different from that) since it would be your own thing, you wouldn't have to worry about following any of the usual "rules" for these things.

    I understand the safety in numbers thing, and I think it is important to realize that not going is what is healthiest for you in this time. 

    I'm sending love and prayers your way, sweet Chibi. 

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  10. YOUR loss is YOUR loss and is NOT to be taken in context with anyone else's saddness, no matter how close THEY were to them.  Do not lessen your own pain. Own it.  Know it's yours.  Claim it.  Your pain is your pain and you deserve to feel it, regardless of anyone else's attachment.  Big hugs.

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  11. Family issues are never easy, hon. And emotions can come up from all sorts of shit. You don't have to do anything that you don't want to do, and no one who matters would ever judge you for it. <3

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  12. my suggestion is similar to what Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) and From Tracie suggested: have your own private memorial with your mom. if there is a good memory from "before," focus on that. put on an outfit you think he would have liked to see you in, and go out to lunch or dinner to a place he might have enjoyed. say a prayer or write a poem or sing a song that allows you to recognize any positive impact he had on your life. do something silly that he would have appreciated. cry or laugh or scream in anger and sadness and frustration, if that's what you need to do. do what YOU need to do. that's what funerals and memorials are supposed to be about, anyway.

    and as for the rest of your family: screw 'em in the ear. like LindsayDianne said, who the hell are they to judge how you deal with your grief? and i don't mean "who do they THINK they are?" but who, actually, ARE they? it's funny how much B.S. people expect you (read: all of us) to put up with because of "family." screw the lot of them.

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  13. You are "entitled" to feel whatever your feelings are...and I think you pegged it in your last paragraph. You may be feeling even more grief than others, in some way, because of the lost relationship...it's like you've had to say goodbye twice. I'm so sorry for your loss and will be thinking about you!

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  14. Grief, especially when the relationships are not clearly defined, is a very complicated and unpredictable thing. A private memorial get-together with your mom, to give you both some relatively drama-free closure, seems like a great idea.

    By the time I lost both of my Grandmas (last year, three days apart) my tumultuous relationship with my family had already been repaired and their services were a joyous, cheerful occasion that was a wonderful blessing to me. Had that not been the case, I still would have gone, but I think I would have needed more comfort than just that and done something on my own, as well.

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