Friday, January 14, 2011


It has been a crazy week.

Last Thursday, I checked my phone and had 3 messages at lunch. I never have more than one message, and even that is rare. Mom was desperately trying to get ahold of a family member who had called her, and I had a bad feeling even then.

When my cousin called back, she said her father had two brain aneurysms discovered a few days before,  and they had led to a massive stroke on both sides of the brain. When we got the call, he was on life support but declared braindead.

They kept him on life support until they could find enough patients for him to donate multiple organs, but the funeral happened in a matter of days.

I know they can't be pleasant for anyone, but funerals are tough for me. My dad died when I was young, and every funeral I go to reminds me incredibly of that rough time. I'm still nowhere near over it (even though I recently reached the point where I'd been alive longer without my dad than with him). I have trained myself, basically, to push back the grief when I need to. Or even when I just want to. Most days nothing really gets to me- and even if it does, I'm usually able to move on through my day and deal with it when I get home.

A funeral is a giant reminder of everything. I can't push it back, or get away, or concentrate on something else. It's there, staring me in the face, with every awkward hug and each line of "On Eagle's Wings." Every second I can't manage to distract myself, I become 11 years old again and can't stop crying. The grief that normally lies dormant and dull suddenly becomes sharp and insistent, especially when there's a picture set out of my dad and uncle together when they were young and grinning.

For me in this case, the person's death was sudden but not entirely shocking, as he'd suffered many health problems in the past. But my heart ached for his family. His kids are only in their 20's, and yet both of their parents have died in the past 5 years. I know how much it hurts to lose your dad, but I can't imagine how the pain would magnify if my mom weren't here either. It doesn't feel fair that they have to deal with that.

I did my sub plans on Monday, drove home to beat the snow, spent most of the day at the church, drove back, and taught again on Wednesday. My week felt strange and 'off', and I kept fighting off really thinking more about what happened so I could get through the week. Honestly, during the days I didn't think I could deal with it and still teach. And after work, I've kept myself distracted as much as possible because I haven't really wanted to deal with it.

Throughout all of this, my grandfather has been in the hospital, too, dealing with a plethora of ailments that seem to be worsening and complicating each other more each day.

I got a message yesterday that my mom and her siblings were driving down to Florida immediately. The doctor gave word that Grandpa's chances weren't good of making it out of the hospital. They're fighting a monster case of pneumonia for a chance to fix his heart, and he's just been moved to the ICU where they are trying 'last chance' options.

I feel like I don't know what to do, because there's really not any concrete thing I can do but pray and it doesn't feel like enough. I feel guilty because I keep putting everything out of my mind, even though I know that tends to be how I deal with things until I can't do it anymore. I can't stop worrying about my cousins and my grandma and my mom and everyone who is closer to the situation than me. I'm sick of having to keep my phone in my pocket at work because I might need to take an emergency call or check it and find a message that something else has gotten worse.

I don't know what I want to come of writing about all this, but I needed to. Either one of these situations would be hard, but I'm really struggling with facing both so close together. If things get worse for my grandpa, I'm afraid I'll just... unravel. Hopefully the antibiotics will start working soon.

P.S.- I know I have some friends who will want to pray and think of me, but please don't. If you want to do something like that, think of my grandfather and my cousins, grandma, and mom. They are dealing with a lot more than I am right now.

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