I guess it’s been a while since I’ve seen the sunshine
Since I have smiled
And me, who’s so well-versed
Is feeling so damned empty
Is at a loss for words
I’m so… angry.
And I’m not even angry at him for dying. Or anything related to him. I’m angry at my father, of all people… for dying first. I guess I just feel like… when your grandfather dies, you should be able to turn to your parents. And since grandpa is mom’s dad, I don’t want to lean to hard on her… but dad isn’t here.
I was sick earlier today… I was trying to get ready to go see mom and step-dad and grandma and grandpa… but every time I tried to stand upright long enough to get in the shower, I threw up. I had a migraine. The stress getting to me plus just the whole general ‘being sick’ thing… I texted my mother, because I didn’t know what else to do. For an hour, I’d been trying to get there, and I couldn’t settle my stomach. Grandma also doesn’t like sick people around grandpa. When mom texted back, she said something very simple:
“Grandpa probably will not make it thru the night.”
So I jumped in the shower, regardless, got sick a few more times, got out, put clothes on while I was still wet, brushed my hair back while it was still soaked, got in my car, and drove. I got there and mom pulled me aside saying again that she didn’t expect him to make it through the evening, let alone the night.
Then the waiting started.
Mom seemed to be getting sick so a couple hours after I got there, she took a hot shower and went to lay down. Step-dad finally went home to lay down. Grandma dozed off and on in her recliner. I sat in grandpa’s recliner behind the hospital bed that he was laying in and just… watched. It was all I could do. I paid half attention to what was on tv at the time and just… watched… and waited. Grandma woke up once or twice and tried to get me to go home and sleep. Right. Like that was going to happen. Scared me to death every time he would take a deep breath… and then stop for a moment… and then start again. I kept wondering which one was the last one.
Around 11pm my time, grandma woke up and we watched a bit. I’d told her that his gasping had slowed down… like… there was longer between breaths. When I’d first gotten there, he was asleep and huffing like he’d run a marathon… even with his oxygen on. But now it was gasping… and then a few seconds… and then gasping again. And the gasping was more shallow. We watched for another half hour-40 minutes and then grandma woke mom up. At 11:45 she called my step-dad saying that he’d probably better get dressed and come over.
Around this time, I’m actually chuckling, because I’m thinking the stubborn old man is actually going to prove us all wrong and make it past midnight. It would be just like him too. “Lose faith in me, will ya… I’ll show you.” But at 11:57pm, grandma was adjusting the blankets and feeling if he was clammy or not, and I saw him stop breathing. He didn’t make a noise, he didn’t struggle to start again. He just… stopped breathing. I didn’t say anything, cause I wanted grandma to be able to be in denial for a moment if she wanted to be. But after a minute she looked back at mom and said, “I think he’s gone.”
I think the most heartbreaking moment in my entire life happened next.
My mother has always said to me, “The Bible apparently says that God will never give you more than you can handle. I’m convinced that he has me confused with someone else.” She’s lost so many in the last 10 years or so, it’s just been ridiculous. All far too soon. I mean, grandpa was 79… but he was still only 79. But mom, who has lost so much already, just lost her father.
As the nurse in the family (grandma and I were only nurse’s aides), mom goes to grab the stethoscope and listens to his chest, like she normally did before he would take his inhaler. She felt around a few different places… and then her face just distorted, she broke down in tears, and half-collapsed over him, crying into his shoulder. It was… devastating to watch… and I couldn’t do so without crying myself… and I don’t cry quietly, so it just made mom cry harder.
At this point, my step-dad still hadn’t come in yet… and he didn’t until mom was already sitting back on the couch, still in tears. He walks in and because I’m the first face he can see, I can’t even tell him… I looked at him and just cried. The look of concern on his face, which I’d NEVER known him to really show… like… ever… was actually comforting… that he cared not only that mom was upset, but that I was too. He asks me, “Is he gone?” and grandma and I both can’t talk… we just nodded.
Then the moment was gone and he was on the couch comforting my mother.
We waited about an hour for hospice to get there… and of COURSE things were going to have to be complicated because we all live in Alabama, but his burial plot is in Indiana. So they have to call the coroner to take him to a local funeral home to do what they need to do in order to fly him to the funeral home in Indiana. Coroner takes about an hour and a half to show up, a half hour to transport him out, and we all finally left grandma’s house at, like, 3:30am.
It’s weird to call it just grandma’s house. But I guess now it is.
On Tuesday, we’re leaving to go back to Indiana. I don’t know how long we’ll be gone, cause we have to plan services and stuff once we get there. And I know mom wants to have an extra day or two after we’re done to visit with her friends that we’ve not seen since we all moved.
I’m just… lost right now. And angry. So angry.
I guess anger has become my preferred coping mechanism. I’m sure that’s not healthy.
So yeah… this is why I’ve not been active in the last few months. Having a grandfather with Leukemia and a step-father with Prostate cancer while you’re fighting your own illnesses just doesn’t leave a lot of time to blog. Thank you for those that are hanging in with me during this difficult time. I really appreciate all the love and support I’ve received from friends in SL. It means so much more than I can ever say.
I hardly feel alive
I’m going through the motions
But I don’t feel like trying
The hole in my heart is growing bigger by the day
I wish that I could crawl inside
*~*I Don’t Wanna Do Anything But Cry… *~*
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