I'm especially strange when it comes to death and grieving. Funerals seem weird to me. Visitations/viewings even weirder. The luncheons afterwards make no sense to me at all.
I never know what to say...or where to stand. I never get in line to view the body in the casket, because for those funerals that I have actually gotten in line, that's the first vision that pops into my head whenever the persons name is mentioned.
I've heard people say, how "good" the person looks, as in kudos to the funeral home. I always think to myself, really?!? We make dead people try to look "good" so that we can view them and say goodbye? I don't get it. Needless to say, there will not be an open viewing at my funeral someday...I've put it in legal writing ;) Although, I told my mom she could peek, because she's on the side that finds comfort in the funeral process.
And, as you can see from the above statement, I don't find it hard to think about my own death, or to even joke about it. Several years ago when we sat down with our lawyer to make out a will, I remember him saying how he knew it was uncomfortable to think about such things...and I thought to myself how I didn't find it uncomfortable at all. Weird-o.
I know, to the vast majority of people, all the things I find strange...they in fact, find very, very comforting. I'm not trying to dismiss the importance, or be insensitive...I'm just sharing my weirdness.
Up until yesterday, I'd really never experienced any close family members dying. I've watched people I love, lose loved ones...but never anyone in close relation to me. I've reasoned over the years that maybe that was why I didn't get it. That maybe someday, when I was on the other side, I would understand the process better.
I received a call from my dad yesterday afternoon letting me know that my grandma had passed away. I had no emotional reaction. No visible one anyway. Her death hit my dad and other normal people as unexpected. Yet, in my head, death is always expected for older people. There was no shock, just logic.
Ben called later on to see how I was doing. I said fine, and then asked him how his day was going, just like I do every time I talk to him. Afterwards, I said to him, "I'm weird, aren't I." And he lovingly said, "Yes, yes you are..."
I spent the rest of the evening pondering my lack of reaction, and I learned something about myself. Four years ago, my grandma suffered a major stroke. When my dad called with that phone call, I think it sent me to my knees. That I found unexpected. There were times during that hospital stay, that I was certain she would not survive. It was gut wrenching. I prepared myself to let go.
My grandma and I had always had a good relationship. She was smart and witty, and I always enjoyed chatting with her about current events and politics. I knew she was proud of who I was. She miraculously survived that massive stroke, physically. I remember everyone being so thankful that she had survived. And I was too...yet the woman that remained was now different. Stuck in a body that would not cooperate with speech. And I grieved because I missed who she was.
I grieved more then, than I do today. I guess in a way, I'd already let go. And really, isn't that what grief really is, the process of dealing with letting go. I know everyone grieves differently...yet I see flaws in the way I dealt with my grief since the stroke...I let go too soon...because it hurt less that way.
I'm a work in progress...until the day God has destined for me to meet Him, I just have to continue seeking after Him. And today, my grieving takes the form of a smile, as I think of my grandma in Heaven, with a perfect body and mind...no more frustrations, no more pain...and most certainly drinking a warm Coke (which I always pretended to like, for her sake, but in Heaven...my Coke is gonna be ice cold ;)