Monday, January 12, 2009


I think I'm finally starting to slip out of the anger phase. I'm not sure how many stages of grief there are, or what order they're supposed to be in, but I've been stuck in the anger stage for a while now. Angry that my grandmother is gone. Not that she left me, but that the doctor's let her go. It just seems that somebody should have been able to do something, or at least seen it coming. I'd talked to her on the phone just a few hours before. She was fine, had a bad time earlier in the day, but after that, everything had cleared up. The nurses were going on about how they wished all of their patients recovered so well. She was happy, cutting up, and looking forward to getting released. Then, out of the blue, her heart rate dropped from 80 bpm to 40 bpm, and before a nurse could get to her bed in ICU, it had just stopped all together.

I just don't understand how there could be no warning, or indication of problems. She was hooked up to all sorts of monitoring equipment in the ICU. Was someone being lax? Was someone on the job who didn't have the experience to understand what the readouts were indicating?

What's done is done, and while I still have some residual anger towards the hospital staff, I'm slipping more into mourning for the loss of my grandmother. I know it's selfish, but I miss her terribly.

I was an orphan, adopted at birth. My adoptive parents got a divorce when I was just 4 years old. At that point, my adoptive father, whose name I carry, explained to me that it was ok that they were getting a divorce, because I was adopted, and not his real son anyway. Imagine the damage that can do to a 4 year old psyche.

My mother(adopted) subsequently remarried, and we were on the move a lot. It seems like we moved at least once a year. At least into a new neighborhood, if not a new city, or new state all together. Through all of that, my grandmother was my anchor. She was always there, and I would often spend summers with her and my grandfather. It was a real 'home', one that changed but little over the years. I always knew what to expect when I walked through the door, or woke up there in the morning. I was very resistant to change when my grandfather passed away over a decade ago. I wanted everything to stay the same(selfish again), but my mother got rid of some things, and changed the house around a bit to make things easier on my grandmother. I guess it also helped her to deal with the loss of her husband.

I was always in her thoughts, or so it seemed. She would always send a little note, just to say hello, with a clipping from the local newspaper if there was something she thought might be of interest. Many of the people who attended her funeral knew me, even though I hadn't seen them in years, some of them in decades. They also knew my daughters, by name at least. Apparently my grandmother was quite proud of not only me, but her great-grandchildren as well.

My anchor is gone now, and I feel like I'm adrift. I'm sure that now her house will get cleared out, and sold off, and the one point of stability for the majority of my life will be gone. Knowing that I have a loving wife and children, and will establish my own stability for them is a small comfort, but does nothing to assuage my grief and loss at the moment.

I miss her terribly, and can't seem to stop thinking about her now that she's gone. I'm back at work today, and not getting much accomplished because I end up staring into space, remembering things about her from my entire life.

It's hard to let go, and though I know it's selfish, I don't want to let go.

I'll always remember her, and I'm not sure I'll ever stop missing her.


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