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My grandmother passed away today at about noon. It was, I am told, relatively painless, and since it came at the end of a long illness and my mother and grandfather were there with her, it could be worse.

A large part of me has been expecting this since Mom flew out Saturday morning, so it feels as if I did my preliminary mourning then (small bout of tears in the middle of a completely unrelated conversation). Now, I just feel kind of hollow, like there should be emotions there that aren't. I'll admit that I was never particularly close to my grandparents (my mother's parents; my father's had both died before I was born), but shouldn't I feel something?

Or maybe it's just that I've cried myself out over the last two years over the minor heartbreaks that come with depression, and I'm empty. Where do you buy refill emotions? Staples, next to the ink cartridges?

I realized, too, that almost all of the strong memories I have of my grandmother are stories I was told about her. I know she rode horses bareback before the war, and once went to the beach and made a bikini out of bandannas because she didn't have a swimsuit. I know that my grandfather went AWOL to marry her so she could get out of Europe after the war, and that while she told him he could divorce her once she was in Canada they just never got around to it. I know the stories of her inability to cook and the time she crammed half a dozen steaks into my mother's tiny med school freezer. But these aren't my memories, and I guess that just adds to the disconnect I'm feeling right now.

The funeral is on Friday (we're bending the three-day rule so that it's not on my brother's birthday) at the funeral plot on Long Island. I'm still taking the exam I have scheduled on Wednesday, because putting it off really isn't going to make that much of a difference, anyway. We're driving up to Frostbite Falls tomorrow to pick up my brother; exact arrangements to bring my mother and grandfather up to New York and for us to meet them are still up in the air. Shivah (kind of like a Jewish wake, except really not) will be at our house starting...after the ceremony, I suppose, but Jewish law doesn't really take interstate travel into account.

I guess that's it, then.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
triannamaxwell
Dec. 15th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
Grief comes in waves. Don't feel bothered that you are not crushed under a wave of it at all times. And I had the same experience when my mother's mother died. Those stories may not be something you witnessed, but they're still something to be cherished. If you need something, I'm here.
theemdash
Dec. 15th, 2009 12:42 am (UTC)
*hugs* I know exactly what you mean. Many of the "memories" I have of my grandparents are stories I've been told. My dad had me help him write the eulogy for my grandfather and it was very awkward to have to "remember" and put emotion to stories I hadn't experienced.

My heart goes out to you, dear.
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melayneseahawk
Dec. 15th, 2009 03:30 am (UTC)
The pain was more from my never having gotten a chance to know him, rather than from his death

That, right there.

I don't recall, have you ever met my grandparents?
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prionz_rok
Dec. 15th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
I'm really sorry, and I think I understand a part where you're coming from. My grandmother is dying too, and I feel a sort of uncomfortable sadness. We were never close--we appreciated each other, but in a sort of one-person-removed way. IE, "I love her because she's my son's daughter" and "because she's my dad's mom." I feel sorrow, but mostly it's a reaction to what my dad is going through.

Regardless, it's not easy. I hope life is a little more gentle to you in the future.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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