Loss is hard. There are no words to describe what it is like to lose someone important to you. Sometimes the standard "Five Stages of Grief" are not even useful in helping you decipher your feelings during a difficult time like this. Sometimes loss brings people together, and sometimes it's so hard that it pushes people apart. Everyone grieves differently and for me, someone who isn't fond of goodbyes, I am not very good at it.
I recently lost my grandmother on my mother's side in a very sudden and shocking way. I was very upset to get the phone call from my older sister who was at the hospital with the rest of the family. It was so hard hearing her crying as she told me what happened post-surgery. It was even harder having to go tell my younger sister the news, who was home with me. All I could think about that night was trying to remember the last thing I said to her; it was Christmas day so I can only assume it was along the lines of "Bye, I love you, see you soon."
My sisters and I were close to my grandmother, so much so that we called her "Mom" instead of Grandma, much to the confusion of any of my friends who had the pleasure of meeting her. Our only explanation to this is that we must have hear our mother and our aunt calling her Mom, so that's what we called her too. It fit our relationship with her very well, that it always stuck.
The days leading up to the funeral didn't even feel real to me. I was going through old photos of my grandmother with different people for a slide show memorial. I couldn't grasp the idea of her actually being gone. She had been in my life for over 21 years, it just seemed so surreal not having her there on holidays or having her call me just to make sure I'm not getting into too much trouble in college. I couldn't even bring myself to cry yet because I just didn't feel like she was really gone. All I could hope was that she was reunited with my grandfather after almost 10 years of separation.
The funeral was really hard. When my immediate family and I first arrived, I couldn't stop crying; I couldn't bear seeing her like that. I immediately turned away, sobbing into my sisters' arms. It was even harder having to accept condolences from people I knew and people I couldn't have picked out of a line up. There is never the right thing to say to someone who has just lost someone. All you can do is be there for them and make sure they are okay, which myself and my family appreciated greatly. It really made me happy seeing how many peoples' lives she touched; it warmed my heart seeing the amount of signatures in the registry book.
Days are going to go by and it will hurt a little less as time passes. There will always be that hole in my life where I know she should be. There will be times when I miss her laugh, or her cooking, or how she could never leave her purse unattended even at my house. I will definitely miss not sitting next to her at Christmas dinner next year.
Until we meet again someday...I love you "Mom."