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View Full Version : When it rains. . . (LONG POST WARNING)



Flake
April 13th, 2007, 03:07 AM
First off, I don't mean to sound like I'm whining. I've been through crap before in my life, so it isn't really anything new, but I've also found that writing the situation down helps, and hey, if there're folks to read it, the more the merrier, right?

For the last month and a half I've been making the 250 mile trip (one way) up to Seattle almost every week, looking for a place to stay, and a place to work so I can afford to stay up there. So far nothing solid, but I do have a way to make a few nickels, and some other stuff is on the horizon. But it's the crap that's going on around this whole "no-house, no-real-job" situation that's really getting to me.

For starters, there's a girl. Not just any girl. This girl and I have had on and off crushes on each other since second grade (no joke). In high school there were a lot of overtones, but me, being the idiot that I was, never grew the balls to do anything about them. Even after high school there were opportunities that I missed. We've always joked since, though, about being each others' "plan B." She's told me on numerous occasions that she'd marry me in a heart beat, all the while knowing that I wouldn't do anything about it. I told her, half seriously, that one day I'd show up with a ring and two tickets to Vegas, to which she replied, "that'll be the day." This whole situation could fill up its own post, but since this thread isn't about just this situation, I'll err on the side of brevity, and will probably elaborate with another thread on the situation.

Anyhoo, she's living up in the Seattle area, and we hung out while I was up there 3 weeks ago. Again, this requires a lot of back story to get into details, but I proved to her that I actually grew a pair and was willing to make a move (working for a circus does wonders for bringing one out of one's shell). I think doing so either freaked her out, or just put her in a place of mind where she wants to look at the situation from a distance. In other words, we haven't really talked. . .or communicated at all, since then. She hasn't answered my calls, text messages are abrupt, and I just get the feeling that right now she doesn't want anything to do with me. Right now at least. Okay okay, maybe I laid it on a little thick, maybe I went too far. But this is just one piece to the puzzle.

Meanwhile, I've put over 1500 miles on my car in the last month and a half, and it started leaking oil like a sieve. Put some oil in, some other problems with it, long story short, I'm staring at a $600 invoice and an empty wallet. Fortunately taking the car to the shop was my dad's idea, so he put up the money for it, but it's just another thing to add to the pile.

And then, last week, I got a terrible cold. At least I thought it was a cold. Turned out to be a sinus infection and I ended up spending the entire week at my parents' house recovering. I was planning on heading back up to Seattle on Sunday, as I was starting to clear up a bit, and my grandma was going to come over for dinner on Saturday night. So the table's set, and my grandma's late. Very unusual. So my folks started calling her place with no answer. They start getting ready to go over to check up on her. In my head I'm saying "good lord, calm down."

Without perspective, of course, what I thought doesn't make much sense. Every grandson should care about the well-being of his grandmother. And I do. But my grandmother is a resilient individual. At 70 years old, she dislocated her shoulder cross-country skiing. Your first thought shouldn't be "oh my, a 70-year old woman dislocated her shoulder," it should be, "Oh my God, who cross-country skis at 70?" She's an avid hiker, and in incredible health at 83. Hence my first reaction.

So about 20 minutes later, my parents call me. She's still not answering her phone, and all her doors are locked and windows shut tight. This was probably the first sign in my mind that should've gone off. My grandma never locks her doors unless she's going out of town for at least a day or going to sleep. Her next door neighbor is a sheriff and she lives in one of the quietest neighborhoods on the quiet side of the town. So I'm scratching my head internally, but figuring there's an easily rational explanation that'll pan out in the next couple hours.

About an hour later my mom calls again, this time letting me know that my aunt (who has a house key and lives a couple hours north) is on her way down to unlock the house. This should've set off another big light in my head. Grandma Betty (the grandmother in question, my dad's mom) never goes out of town without letting aunt Carol know (the aunt mentioned). So my head is mulling over 1000 little bits of information, all the while I'm trying to distract myself by playing WoW.

Roughly 30 minutes later I got up to pour myself a drink, but before I could get to the fridge, I heard my phone ringing. My heart started to sink. It was either really good news, or really crappy news. To my dismay, it was the latter. Out of seemingly nowhere, my grandmother passed away sometime last Thursday night.

Now I'll be honest, I don't think I know how to deal with death. The only other funeral I've ever remembered attending was my great uncle Willard, who was estranged from our family for all but the last 3 or 4 years of his life, and I'd only met him on a couple occasions, so I didn't really know him well. In fact, the biggest reason my grandmother's death is affecting me is because I keep on thinking to that it should be affecting me in a more obvious manner.

I mean, yeah, I held back a few tears. But for Christ's sake, I cried more when my dog of nearly 16 years died. How the hell does that measure up with one of the most amazing women in the world who I've known for 24 years? And with whom I've had countless incredible discussions? I almost want to feel like utter crap just so I'll think I'm normal.

That being said, I'll miss her. She was always so joyful despite the situation, whatever the situation, and always full of life. I could go on about how wonderful she was, but I think you get the point.

All this to say that while I'm sad (in a selfish way), I think my seemingly cold reaction is, in and of itself, a reflection of how she dealt with death. She always hated funerals, never went to them. Rather, she cherished the time she had with people, and looked on the death of others with hope. While after first hearing the news, I wanted to say, "the world is a bit of a darker place now," I figured I'd put things in perspective.

The sun shines a bit brighter, simply because she was here, and heaven got a bit more beautiful tonight.

Andara Bledin
April 13th, 2007, 12:30 PM
Don't beat yourself up over what you feel is too little of a reaction.

I was in junior high school when my grandfather died. I didn't have any notable reaction to it until about three weeks later when I just kind of lost it in the middle of a PE class.

Pets are different, somehow. They get into a place that practically no person would come close to occupying. I still have small crying jags over my cat, who was put to sleep over a year ago.

Grief is a very strange thing and everybody reacts in different ways. The best most of us can do is hope that there was no suffering and just keep on doing what you can.

^-.-^

Takara
April 13th, 2007, 12:56 PM
When a loss is as great as that, sometimes it takes a little while to sink in. Don't give yourself too much grief for not feeling as you think you "should".

Every situation of grieving should be felt different, from fish to dog to spouse to grandmother; because every relationship was different... just like you said.

And my condolences for your loss.

Kallysti
April 13th, 2007, 01:23 PM
Do not get hung up on how you're 'supposed to' feel. And by all means, do not let anyone tell you how you should be responding. We are all different, we all react differently to death.

When my little brother was killed 3.5 years ago (he was 25, killed in a car crash), I did not cry when I heard. I did not cry at the funeral or indeed for almost a month afterwards. It just was not real to me. It sunk in slowly, I guess, and it was times when I thought of something I wanted to share with him and realised I couldn't, those were the times I cried.

Your grandma has been there your entire life. Even knowing, in the back of your mind, that she would die before you, it still comes as a shock. Take time and deal with it in the way that's most natural to you. To hell with what others think of it, if it's something that helps you.

Good luck, also, with finding work in Seattle. It really sounds to me like your female friend is shocked by the change in you. I'm guessing a little space is what she needs to think about things. Though, of course, that's just an outsider's opinion.

Nekojin
April 13th, 2007, 01:36 PM
What Andara said is very true. There was a person in my Grandmother's life for most of my preteen childhood. Her name was, to me, Aunt Lucy (I think she was actually my Grandmother's aunt, I'm not certain). To me, she was a bit of a dotty old lady who lived in an apartment that we went to visit every once in a while. It was eventually realized that Aunt Lucy had Alzheimer's, and she was moved to an "enhanced care facility." While she was there, the visits to Aunt Lucy usually unnerved me a bit - on at least one occasion, she was telling the other residents that I was going to come live with her there. Being a kid, I didn't know how to deal with that at all.

So it came to pass that Aunt Lucy died, as all people do eventually. She lived a long life - I believe she was pushing 100. And at the funeral, I had no reaction at all. It was just something I had to do.

A few years later, I was discussing things with my mother during a long drive, and the subject came to Aunt Lucy for some reason. I felt a powerful wave of grief at that point - strong enough that it brought me to tears. Moreover, it bothered me at that point that I hadn't shown any grief at the funeral service. Mom reassured me that this sort of thing is very common, and to not let it bother me too much.

As Andara said, grief doesn't work the same way for everyone, and moreover it doesn't work the same way for the same person over different matters.

Flake
April 13th, 2007, 02:54 PM
First off, thanks for the replies guys. Writing this down helped me to filter a lot of the crap floating around inside my head out. While, as I've mentioned before, I'll be sad because I won't be able to hang out with her any more, I realized something very important. Without death, everything that we do in life would be worthless.

<shrug> At least I've had some inspiration to plan my own memorial service/funeral. When I can, I'm going to put $2000 into a low-yield, low-risk fund of some sort, and I won't ever touch it. Won't put anything in, won't take anything out. This will be the booze fund for my "departure party." Of course I'd want someone to hire a band or two to play as well. And just invite a buncha people who know/knew me to hang out and have fun. This may sound a bit odd, but hey. . .I expect people to miss me. I expect people to mourn my loss. But when it comes down to it, I don't want to be remembered as some dead guy, but as a guy who loved to have fun.

This is one reason why I won't be going to my grandma's viewing. Talk about morbid. Like I need physical proof she's gone. I'll probably figure that out when I go over to her house to pick up some of my stuff and realize she's not there. Besides, I don't want to remember her that way. The last time I saw her she was coming over to my folks' house to drop off some mail for me, and was doing some work with some plants in my parents' front yard.

Meh, I started a thought without the intention of finishing it off. Grandma's memorial service is tomorrow, so I'll probably have plenty of material to go off of later, just working the kinks in my brain out :p

Andara Bledin
April 16th, 2007, 11:39 AM
I'm with you on the whole viewing thing, but some people need just that sort of physical proof that a person is gone to get past the 'denial' stage.

I had a friend years ago that died in an apartment fire. One of her candles got knocked over by a cat, the apartment caught, and she ran back in after the cat and they both got caught in the blaze.

All of us that were her friends got together and held a wake. We had a huge plush anthro lion to represent her and basically partied for the weekend, celebrating her life. She would have loved it, it was just her sort of party.

That's what I want people to be inspired to do when I'm gone.

^-.-^

Flake
April 16th, 2007, 07:24 PM
Yeah, I can understand how a viewing can help bring closure for someone. If one of my brothers or parents were to pass away suddenly, I think I'd want to go to a viewing, if for nothing more to simply note that he's not there anymore. I guess I always knew it was possible, seeing as my grandmother was 60 years older than me, it just kinda came out of the blue, but I'll take someone's word for it that she's gone. Just depends on the situation I guess.

In other news, my grandma's life celebration was fun as hell. We had our entire family down (not a huge family, but that side), including my cousin and his wife who are currently living in the south of France. We went out to dinner afterwards, and hung out. The thing that struck me was that during the service, there was more laughter than crying, which was very very accurate. Sure, my grandma got dealt some harsh cards, her husband died at 52 to ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), and her youngest son died in 1980 (I think he was 30) in a plane crash, but I never heard her complain or say how miserable it probably was.

I talked with her on several occasions about grandpa Mac and uncle Denny, and she always talked about the joys in their lives, even joy despite hard circumstances. In any case, we have a picture with our family around a table at a restaurant, and as boisterous as we were, you would have thought we were coming from a wedding or something. But she loved having fun, so we figured we'd do the same :)

thedarkmessenger
April 17th, 2007, 11:55 AM
Just a few weeks ago, I found out that my opa (german for "grandpa". We call the grandpa on my father's side of the family "opa" and the grandpa on my mother's side of the family "grandpa") got cancer and was going to die soon. He's still alive right now, but only because they did surgery to give him a few more months to live. Personally, I think he shouldn't of done the surgery. Not because I hate him and want him to die or anything. Think about it, will those "extra few months" really do anything except for cause him more pain and suffering in life? I'm glad he's trying to live for us, but I don't want him to live if it will only do him even more harm. Also, I'm the type of person who handles death better when it's sudden instead of knowing when it's gonna happen. If it's sudden, I can cry hard and then get on with my own life. If I know when it's coming, I'm crying everyday until it happens and it becomes much, much harder to move on.

Aku
April 18th, 2007, 01:33 AM
Since everyone has talked about the most import point of the post. I will just say it is hard to find anywhere affordable in Seattle. For example, I rented a 1940's, post war, trackhouse for $1500/month there. Here in Pheonix, I rent a two year old house for $1100.

In any case you might have to look a ways out of the city (Renton, Kirkland, etc.) to find anything that will work. I remember i lived 40 min away from a Girl I really had something for, and I made it work by staying at friends or relitives houses when I was down there and I did not want to go home at 1am. I believe you can find a way to make this work for you, and given your curmstances, meeting a challenge and conquering it would be a great boost.

Flake
April 18th, 2007, 02:39 AM
Yeah, once I get a job I'll be rooming with a guy in a 1 bedroom in Queen Anne. Will be $1300 a month. . .split, yes, but it's gonna be tough to find a job to support it. He already signed the lease, which makes me almost want to kick him, as I'd found a couple 2-bedrooms for less than $1000 a month. Bleh, it's not gonna be fun, but it's gotta be done.