This morning Jeff and I were sitting on the back porch drinking our coffee. It was a particularly slow morning as our power went out multiple times last night, and each time it came back on, our alarm system would go off. I did not get my needed beauty sleep. As I was sitting, sipping, and staring into the woods a sudden sense of anxiety and sadness came over me. I looked at my phone to see what time it was, and I noticed the date was 5/9 and it was 6:05 am. It had been 2 years ago at that moment that GranGran left this earth. I was immediately amazed at the deep physical connection our body has with grief and stress. That even 2 years later, I was connected to that moment.
To this day, I say 2014 and 2017 were the very worst 2 years of my life. In 2014, I lost my mom, both of our sisters were going through divorces, our marriage struggled, my baby started kindergarten and I was pretty much a red hot mess. I grieved losing my mom in ways I never expected to experience. I’ve always been a pretty emotionally level person, and not one to be victim to my circumstances, but I caved. All the moments of stress and hard situations I had internalized came rushing out as I grieved my mom. I just didn’t have the emotional energy to compensate for anything.
January through May 2017 was a train wreck. I had 3 surgeries between January 25 and April 10. The following week Lexi Kate broke her leg. 3 days after that, Gran started hemorrhaging in the middle of my kitchen floor. That led to a week in the hospital, and our eventual decision to move her to hospice care. After 21 days without any food or water, Gran finally passed away peacefully. As grateful as I was that she was no longer held hostage by dementia, as relieved I was of the burden of caring for a dementia and heart failure patient, I was extremely grieved. She was essentially my last connection to my mom. I felt like having Gran with me was having mom with me. Taking care of her was my one last opportunity to serve my mom, to make my mom proud. I’d always dreamed of taking care of my mom, and I never got that chance.
The remainder of 2017 played out with an epic battle with a crazy neighbor. And, ended with us deciding the best thing for our family to do was leave the neighborhood we dearly loved. Those were our people, they were literally our circle. And, we left. Our whole family spent several months grieving home.
Two years later, here we are. Looking back on the deep connections we had to our family and friends, feeling sad, yet so grateful. Our grief is only possible because we loved so deeply. I wouldn’t give up the love and connection in order to avoid the grief even though it hurts down to my toes.