Grief is a funny thing. Not "haha" funny, but hard to understand funny. Grief is a slithery, slippery thing that is hard to get a hold of, and very hard to control. Grief is a stalker, waiting for an opportunity to snatch its victim when least expected.
Grief struck me out of the blue today. There is a heaviness in my chest and gut. There is a feeling of anxiety and not being able to catch my breath. Melancholy is waiting to swallow me up, like some dark shadow swirling toward me like a fog. I am fighting to keep that fog at bay, to let the light pierce it and chase it back into some dark, dusty, forgotten corner where I don't have to look at it. But it isn't easy. It would be far easier to dwell on it, feed it, and let it take this beautiful, warm, sunny day away from me. I want to beat the grief and its crippling emotions away, and make them leave me alone forever. I know forever won't happen, but maybe I can shake it off for today, and tomorrow it will have retreated.
I am missing my Grandma Rose something awful. I can't even tell you why it hit me so hard. I guess it's that stalker part of grief. Grandma has been a citizen of Heaven for 22 months now. Thoughts of her overwhelmed me this morning. In my mind, I could see her. Hear her. Smell her. Feel her. I wanted to hug her and tell her how much I love and miss her. Oh, to be able to pick up the phone and call her. For years, our conversations always began the same way: "Hello?" "Hi Grandma!" "Hello, Annerie!" I can still hear that just as plain as day. I hope I never forget.
I have a few of her things that I keep sealed in a rubbermaid container, and some of the items are also in ziploc bags, just so they will not lose the sent of her, and of her home. Odds and ends like an old pair of her jeans that I rescued out of the trash pile. A bible that is so old and worn that it is literally falling to pieces. Some panels of a table runner and place mats, and an old shawl; items she had crocheted that nobody else wanted. These are my Grandma Rose treasures, and that rubbermaid container is the treasure chest where I will keep them, probably forever, as long as her essence lingers in them.
So, on a day like today, when I miss her so much that it physically hurts, I go to that treasure chest, open it up a crack, and inhale deeply. It is oddly comforting somehow. Not as good as being able to hug her and hear her voice, but it is still a connection to her. Proof that she was really here, on this earth, and that she loved me, too. In some way, it does help to push that dark fog of grief back a bit, so I can focus more on the happy times with my beloved Grandma Rose, instead of dwelling on her absence.