I am learning to deal with death for really the first time in my life. Somehow, I’ve made it for 30 years without really having lost anyone close to me. When I was really young, maybe 5 or 6, my great-grandmother died. I know I was there for the funeral, but I don’t really have any memories of her before then. Other than that, I’ve only had to deal with pets and farm animals dying. (Of note, I did not react particularly well to the time they took the sheep to the butcher.)
Now my grandmother is dying. Her time is short for this world, and I love her with all of my heart. We lived in the same town when I was growing up, and she was a very important part of my life. For possibly the first time, I will consciously and actively miss someone from my life. This has been particularly hard for me, especially since I know that I probably won’t be able to get to Utah where she is being cared for before she goes.
I find myself tearing up in the oddest places: during the opening prayer of a ward FHE activity, driving to work, reading on an airplane. I don’t cry well, and so far have only made it to sobs once (about 15 minutes ago). I’ve worried that I’d have to call off dates and races, and I’m constantly making contingency plans. I’m distracted easily at work (more so than usual). I’ve visited the temple and prayed continually for her pain to be eased and for the Lord’s will to be done. I’ve had trouble blogging and writing in other forms too, because apparently when I write, I actually have to acknowledge my feelings. It’s been hard.
I have been keeping it kind of quiet, but I’ve been a little muted from my normal self over the last few weeks. Those of you with frequent contact with me might have noticed. That’s just me, trying to deal. Some days are better than others. I think my grandma would want me to be out and about. (I do know that she has commented in the past few weeks about how much she would love it if I (and the rest of my unmarried male cousins) would get married, so that’s incentive enough to do the social things.)
If you read my blog and know her and haven’t yet, you can visit her CaringBridge page and sign her guestbook. My aunt and uncle are printing off the messages people leave for her and reading them to her.
For the rest of you who have lost loved ones, how did you learn to deal with death?