No one teaches you how to grieve and chances are you won’t know how you respond to grief until you have lost a loved one.
August 5th would have been my grandmother’s birthday and two days prior I started painting things around my house. I do recognize that most of the rooms painted in my house are associate with me releasing and grieving. But the body is strange… this time it didn’t click. I was up one night until 3 am painting wood blocks for my backyard Jenga game. I touched up paint on the top of my pergola and painted a faux rug. I recognized later…. “Hope you’re processing.”
I think it’s important for individuals to see that professionals are people too! I speak with my clients often about grief and coping. I have tools in my tool belt to utilize but sometimes grief sneaks up on you. It could be a time of the year. A smell, a commercial, a song, a phrase… and your mood shifts from jovial to quiet.
Daily I’m grateful! I’m glad God made me my grandmothers granddaughter. I loved her hard and have no retreats! But just know…. it’s a process!
I write often, and today as processed I found something I wrote in 2018 that still rings true today.
This time last year I came to Austin for my Granny’s birthday. She was in the hospital and not doing well. When I asked her if she knew who I was she shuck her head yes. I asked her if she loved me she shook her head yes. When I asked if she would be ok she shook her head no. I cried… she shed a tear and it was at that moment I knew she was tired.
God blessed me to have an awesome Granny. I have had loss, but never someone so close. I can’t say I’ve ever understood how people feel on milestone days… well tomorrow is my Granny’s birthday and I just want to take her to get some fried fish, give her some flowers, paint her nails and roll her hair in the all particular way (green rollers in the front, pink in the back; I would just give her the comb to part her sections… smh).
I’ve always said, when my loved ones leave I’m not going to the grave site…. they aren’t there! But this weekend, all I want to do is go to the grave site. But honestly, I’m not sure I’m strong enough. I truly miss my Granny. I would just come home to see her because nails needed painting or she wanted to go to the Dollar General.
– Her laugh,
– Her sarcastic self… with a good ole cuss word at the end of random sentences…
– Her straw in her soda,
– Her phone conversations,
– Her home-fries (the kind in the electric skillet… I never understood how they were soft and crispy all at the same time…. but so good),
– Her knowledge… without saying much, She would let you make the mistake then tell you… lol… know you knew xyz…
– Her work ethic,
– Her understanding that she had to love everyone differently… and she did. I will always believe I was the favorite grandchild. I really was… lol… serious face!
– How she would get a baked potato and fix it up so nice… she would take her time making sure her potato was perfect. She would take the skin off and mash it, salt and pepper it, and would eat two bites to taste it then promptly ask for a to-go box for her potato and her fish.
– How she sat in the same seat at Christmas time,
– How we would take a selfie when I visited,
– How she would say stuff cause she knew I would give in. “I just really want to get something new…”
– How she would play me and my uncle. She would tell us both she wanted a new dress or a new suit and we would both be shopping; he’d get there with a dress and I’d get there with a dress and she would just smile and giggle… knowing Good and well what she was doing,
– How she would hide money from my aunt and tell me I better not tell! Lolol!!!
– Her independence even when we had to move her to the nursing home. She was getting up getting cute. I had to ask her if she was trying to find me a Paw-paw? She would laugh and never answer my question…. lol
– How she walked her faith. My Granny was not a theologian… but her fruit and her walk was a mirror of the Gospel.
I simply miss her. That’s all. It was a few weeks after her birthday that she took her last breath. I was driving home nearly every weekend to see her. After her birthday, and our exchange, I realized that I needed some time to process and to prepare for what I knew was coming.