Yellow Paint Nostalgia and the Stages of Grief

12:38:00 AM

And so I guess I have reached the point in the grieving process where I begin to have "flashbacks."
Grieving is just so wierd. Death is just so wierd. I realize more and more how we just weren't meant for it. period. There's no way to process it in our heads. There's no way that seems right to handle death. Knowing that I will see my pop-pop again is such a happy thing while missing him and thinking about him now being here is such a horribly sad thing.

But in the grieving process you go through the initial "shock" where it takes you a little while to register that this is actually reality because you at first can't believe it because death seems so unreal. Death happens to everyone else, not me, right?
Then you are numb, but go through "waves" of understanding when it hits you that "he really is dead."
Then you go into preparing for the funeral mode. Just keep moving. You all of a sudden just handle it. I looked through hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pictures putting together my grandpop's video and was somehow able to disconnect myself from it. I guess that's the word for this stage..."disconnecting."
Then comes the actual funeral where you hurry up and make yourself look nice, kind of feel guilty for enjoying being dressed up for a change because, i mean, come on, it's your grandpop's funeral and you are worried about putting your eye liner on, then you hurry because you are going to be late for the recieving line since there will no one for anyone to say they're "sorry" to if you aren't actually there with the widow and family. Then you feel really awkward as people tell you they are sorry, and what are you supposed to say "i forgive you"? You don't cry much because you are still in "disconnected mode" but certain relatives or friends of the family might make you well up thinking about how they had known your grandpop and they were grieving too. You listen to the service and eulogy but a lot doesn't register because everything is still to close which is why in a few weeks or months you may watch the video or listen to the cd of the funeral service.
Then you go back to the house for coffee and food and are too hungry to feel guilty for enjoying food at your grandpop's funeral because you skipped breakfast in the rush of the day and, well, it's catered. My grandpop would understand. He enjoyed food just as much as I did. You spend this time getting compliments on your decor of your home from people who had not been there prior and laughing with family and trying to make sure no one notices the room that is overflowing with pictures from the video you had just finished at 9:55 this morning after being up until 2 the night before and just hadn't had time to clean up since the funeral was at 10.
Then comes the empty house. Everyone left, family from out of town went home, the flowers estop coming to the door every few minutes, and things slow down. Then comes the stage of "depression." There is just something so depressing about the day after a funeral. It was like everything had been so climactic and then...just dropped. Now reality of him never coming home had not hit yet, but the reality that you just go to the hospital and see him has. That we have all this extra time in our hands that we don't know what to do with begins to hit. And you are just basically sad.
Then comes the next few weeks. For the first few days you are kind of sad when you think of the house without him there. Then you begin to become almost more detached because life does not revolve around the funeral or around the hospital. You don't "forget," but you kind of just don't think about him as much and begin enjoying family and friends and life again. You almost feel guilty, but know that you don't need to. Sitting around crying about him won't bring him back, and grandpop always enjoyed life. You begin to clean out his stuff, realizing this man's wardrobe was 10x the size of your own and that he had always bought himself anything he ever wanted. And none of it could go with him when he died.

Then comes the flashback stage.
That is the stage I have hit.
The kids are back to school. My parents are back to work. It's just me and grandmom again.
And the other day I was working in the yard and starting to dig up her flowerbeds and rake them, when it hit me that this was what my grandpop would be doing for her if he was here and I got really sad.
It suddenly was final to me. He wasn't coming back. This is our new life. Without pop-pop. He isn't going to open the pool this year. He isn't going to roter till the garden. He isn't going to mow the lawn. He isn't going to eat cream puff cake out by the pool. He isn't going to drive his car. He isn't going to go on the trip he was planning to Florida. We aren't going to rent a moter home and travel across country. He isn't going to celebrate my 20th and his 80th birthday. He'll never be at my wedding. He'll never hold my children. He'll never see Jeremiah graduate highschool (if he ever does!). He'll never take a prom picture with Hailey. He'll never meet our stupid new dog.
It was this wierd finalizing revelation.

And so I sit in his old office. We moved his desk out. We took his stupid Looney Toon pictures off the wall. We cleared his sport jackets out of the closet. We ripped off the wall paper. And I painted the room yellow.

Yes, I'm moving down with my grandmom. Not that I haven't lived down here for the past three months, but now it is final. We're turning the office into my room. No more sharing the bed with Nanie. And I kind of started getting depressed. Not that I was sad I would no longer be sharing a bed with a 78 year old woman, but because moving down here meant he really wasn't coming home. I had thought for so long that this would be temporary, only till Poppy gets home. Then it turned to probably taking care of both of them, but still, when Poppy gets home. But now, Poppy is not coming home. He's never coming home.

Grieving. The strangest thing I've experienced yet. I hope I never have to get used to it.

You Might Also Like