Question of the Week: May 29th, 2018.

Have you ever had anyone close to you pass away?  What was your experience of grief and is there anything you’d like to share about them?

I’m back at home  on the other side of the world after the death of my grandmother, and it’s been an interesting experience.  Mostly because of how… it doesn’t feel different?  Everyone is just going about things like normal, with post of the energy being on packing up and selling her house.  It feels weird and mercenary, but I don’t know, maybe this is normal for someone that has been sick for a while?

Sorry I can’t come up with anything more themed for today, but I’d love it if people shared favorite stories of people they loved that aren’t around anymore, or about what their process of grieving was like.


About astarlia

Astarlia is proud of herself for only having volunteered for..... okay if you have to stop and count it's probably too many things isn't it? She is passionate about nerd culture, disability and mental health, alternative relationships, sexuality, and young adult fiction.
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10 Responses to Question of the Week: May 29th, 2018.

  1. nihonhistory says:

    My grandfather died a few years ago. We had been very close and I was devastated. I was doing an internship in another country when he feel sick and I ended it a week earlier than I was supposed to so I could go back home. I stopped at my parents for the night and wanted to go see him the next day. He died that night and I didn’t get to see him again. It was shortly before Christmas and because the funeral should take place before it all happened really fast. He was buried four days after he died. It was all a blurr, I don’t really remember much. People kept telling me how sad they were and how much they would miss him (he was very popular in his town and it was a massive funeral). And I kept thinking that I’m grieving for my grandfather and they are grieving for a completely different person and that I don’t have the energy to be mindful of their grieve as well. I had to deal with a lot of guilt because I didn’t get back in time and sometimes it’s still difficult. And there are some things I regret he didn’t learn about me, e.g. me being asexual. But it got better with time, even though I still miss him.
    I hope you will get through this time too. Everyone deals different, some get proactive, others can’t function at all. I hope you find a way that works for you.

  2. Rowan says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible for you.

    It was a bit like that for me when my grandfather died – his wife had died four years earlier, quite suddenly, and that had all the normal trappings of grief and anger and denial and so on, but soon after that my grandfather had started to decline (Alzheimer’s), and trying to take care of him while living quite a way away took a large emotional toll on my parents (and thus myself). It felt, in a way, like we’d already mourned him long before he died, and I think my parents were, if anything, more relieved by his actual death than anything else; it was definitely business as usual.

    I regret that I never knew either of those grandparents that well; I was only seven when my grandmother died. My grandfather, by all accounts, was a funny person; he used to entertain me with coin tricks as a small child, and his favourite joke was to declare that some particularly nice food had been sent over by his sister in the Swiss Navy. (I did not understand this joke until years later, when I finally found Switzerland on the map.)

  3. Katherine says:

    My Grandmother had dementia and had been declining over several years before she passed away. I’d been planning to go see her at the time, knowing that it was pretty likely that would be my last chance to see her, when the Friday before I was going to be driving down my Mom called to tell me Grandma had passed away the night before. I was pretty much torn between being upset at having lost my chance to see her one last time and being kind of numbly (and a little selfishly) relieved that my last memories of her were of much earlier in her dementia onset when she still seemed mostly normal and not the frustrated anger I’d heard she’d largely descended into after moving into the nursing home. I didn’t get to attend her funeral, which at the time I didn’t feel emotionally equipped to argue about – Mom took my sister with her instead and… I’m actually upset about that now, even though I know that its partially on me for telling her it was fine when it really wasn’t. I was Grandma’s favorite (I was her ‘Feather’) and the one who got along with Grandma best and what with not getting that final visit I kind of feel like I never got closure on her loss. But its been several years so I don’t really feel like I can talk to my mother about any of this now because of how much time has passed that it just seems awkward to bring it up.

    Many, many years earlier while I was still in elementary school, my Grandfather (on my Dad’s side) died from a heart condition. I don’t have a whole lot left of him – I was young enough that now that I’m bordering on thirty my memories of him are pretty fuzzy – but I remember his funeral was lovely and large. Family came from everywhere to say good bye on both his and his partner’s side of the family. Which made it all the more upsetting when his partner abruptly cut ties with our family shortly after Grandad’s death. I was too young at the time to understand that they were more than just roommates, but I’d basically considered him to be a second grandfather anyway (my grandmother on my dad’s side and my grandfather on my mom’s side had both died long before I was born) and suddenly he was just gone from my life as effectively as though he’d died too. It wasn’t until my uncle’s funeral while I was in college that I learned what caused the split and what he did was pretty awful and very self-centered. But that was also when it really sank in that Grandad had been queer, which turned out to be a pretty big comfort when I was figuring out my aromantic/asexual orientations. Because my parents had already accepted one queer family member, I wasn’t too worried about them accepting me. So while I don’t remember him well, Grandad left me with a music box that plays “My Favorite Things” (and really does help me feel better when I’m sad), several quilts he made himself, and confidence that being queer was something to be proud of. (So he did leave me all the important things.) Dad’s side of the family gets together a lot too, so I often hear stories about Grandad and his flower shop or some of the truly ridiculous things he did.

  4. My dad died last June and it isn’t something I’ve been ready to write about at all. All four of my grandparents had died years ago (I’m somewhat older than most people in the TAA community). Grief is so unique for each person and the relationship they had with the deceased and I think the most important thing is to respect whatever your process is for what it is and don’t try to force it to be something else, especially when you read or hear anything about what it “should” be like.

    Sometimes dealing with practical and financial matters can be overwhelming, while for other people it helps them to keep busy and feel like they are doing something important and necessary.

    I hope that you and your family are able to find some sense of peace and comfort at this time.

  5. Rivers says:

    I had a grandmother who died about five or so years ago from brain cancer. It was pretty tough. It was probably the longest five months of my life after we found out. There is so much I still remember about her. Bits and pieces of different crafts we did all over my room.

    About a week ago, my grandfather moved out of the house that he built with her. My family helped, and I thought it might be a hard trip because it was the last time I would ever see the house, but … It wasn’t. For some reason, I had long ago made my peace with that place. It didn’t feel different than any other day, and I didn’t really feel anything (not that I was numb, there was just no emotion you might expect from that kind of thing). I had people ask me if I was okay or how I was feeling about it, and I was genuinely confused at first why they would ask. It isn’t that I didn’t care, but I definitely think it’s possible to make your peace with something before you’re “supposed” to, or at a different time then may be generally expected. And that’s okay.

  6. jameth says:

    I never met my grandfathers. They died before I was born. My mother’s mom passed away when I was 10. My Dad’s mom passed away on her favorite holiday, Halloween, in 2012. She was in a nursing home for around 10 years. She was 85 when she passed. She was a breast cancer survivor and had a double mastectomy, had diabetes, and was as I said a “tad forgetful” at times. She was lucid most of the time but she would forget family members who didn’t visit her often like I did.

    She had spunk, and a sick sense of humor, just like me LOL. She was a horror movie fanatic. One day I walked in on her watching Friday the 13th (one of them, idk which one, but there was tons of BLOOD and screaming…) It was blaring because she was a bit hard of hearing. Her room mate was not amused. In fact I think she was terrified! I just laughed, and said, “Oh Grandma, *sigh* you’re going to kill your room mate you know……” Her reply was, “Good! She annoys the $@%& outta me!” I laughed even harder. She was a character that’s for sure.

    But in September of 2012 she complained of a UTI. When the hospital checked it out it turned out she had bladder cancer. Inoperable due to many factors. I was devastated. She was more than just my Grandma. She was my partner in crime. I always had so much fun with her, and not just because she used to swear a lot like me LOL. I visited her a few times a week at the home. More so in that last month. I was the only one who thought that she should know what’s wrong with her. The rest of my family thought it was best to keep her in the dark. It was infuriating watching her ask and know something was wrong with her but not know what it was.

    I finally, accidentally, but gratefully, let the cat outta the bag. She looked me in the eye and said “I have Cancer?” I tried not to cry while I nodded and apologized for her children’s actions, including my father. I told her it was ok to go, while everyone else was telling her to “hang on”. She was non responsive after that and died a few days later. I was very upset that everyone else was more worried about her belongings and her house than just losing their mother and grandmother.

    I was glad she wasn’t suffering anymore. I’m glad I had a chance to be there for her in the end. She lived far away from me the first 20 something years of my life, but I got to have some wonderful moments with her later on.

    So here I am, 35, and she’s been gone now for 6 years. And I still think of her a lot. Especially on her favorite holiday. I would go to the nursing home every Halloween and dress her up. A clown, a cat, both used multiple times because she enjoyed them. The year she passed we were both gonna be witches. I treasure the good times we got to have and she will always be in my heart.

    This is gonna sound weird but after she died at night I would feel some pressure at the foot of my bed, like someone sitting down and staying there. I had a memory foam mattress topper so it was noticeable. It happened of and on for about a year. Then my beloved cat passed away whom I had for 19 years. Soon after, sure enough, I would feel two separate depressions on my bed. I was not scared at all. My bf was LOL but I felt nothing but love and peace. It lasted until after I was finished grieving for both of them. I took my time grieving. It still makes me sad sometimes, but I now have 2 guardian angels watching over me. (Although, in her case she probably has some wicked cool bat wings like in a horror movie and my cat has Dragon wings LOL)
    Also, my profile pic for wordpress is of my handsome little old man, Fluffy ❤
    Sorry I wrote so much!

  7. luvtheheaven says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Your feelings are relatable especially to how I felt about my grandmother’s death a year and a half ago. The two people I felt closest to who have died did not die in a way I’d call “passing away” – they each died by suicide. Well, the latter was actually perpetrating a murder-suicide. But my grandmother passed away a year and a half ago and I also felt like no one else was as sad as me or something. When her husband, my grandfather, died 6.5 years earlier, that was the only one that was really REALLY weird because literally no one at the funeral was sad except maybe my grandmother. He was an abusive alcoholic, and a recluse basically my entire life and he died when I was 19. I spent so much time in his house, even lived with him briefly, but I considered it “living with my grandmother” and “my grandmother’s house” because he just didn’t act like he was there… When he died his kids and grandkids were going through business as usual stuff and no one was sad and no extra people even showed up at his funeral.

    But with my grandmother I wanted to share my grief with others, I wanted more closure, I wanted proof that a life lived to age 82 was something worth enough to be missed, Idk. I had a lot of mixed feelings and wrote about them a bit here:

    I realized when my uncle died I didn’t fully appreciate at the time how rare and wonderful his funeral was, him having so many people get the opportunity to get up there and speak about him, including me (I shakily and tearfully delivered one of the many eulogies), how much the gravity of his loss was shared and how much that helped in the overwhelming grief over his sudden suicide which I, his wife, and his son unfortunately witnessed.

    I started my wordpress blog less than two months after his suicide, I think my very first post was sorta about a narrow piece of my processing of these events, or Idk if this was the first one but it’s definitely a very early one.

    I only figured out I was asexual for sure a month before his death and I only saw him typically about once, maybe twice a year, but when I saw him it was days on end of bonding and he had been my favorite of all 11 aunts and uncles I grew up with, and I wonder if he would’ve understood or accepted my asexuality had I ever had a chance to tell him, or what his strong opinions might be on me 3 years later working as a contractor administrative assistant for the federal government, or what he would’ve thought of my atheist podcast, or any of it. He was such a huge part of the first 23 years of my life but wow my life has changed so drastically in the 4.5 years since his death.

    Today would’ve been his 55th birthday. He was such a kind, philosophical, knowledgeable human being who experienced so much more in his 50 years of life than my grandmother who lived to be 82, who fought depression and survived 7 years after a first suicide attempt, enjoying so many things in those 7 years, who loved me dearly in a way I could feel, he showed it well, when I first met him when I was 6 he already was enamoured with me (he was marrying into the family then) and later would tell stories about what I was like as a little girl. I will always be sad that he died so young, the way he did, leaving my 16-year-old at the time cousin without a father, missing out on so much. I will always miss him. I’m glad I raised over $1000 and walked in The Overnight “Out of the Darkness” AFSP walk for suicide prevention last June with him most prominently on my mind.

    I’ve written about what grieving a murder-suicide felt like too… This past Sunday was the 6 month mark. I’ve probably written a novel worth of stuff on grief, or even more than one novel, in the past year and a half since my grandmother’s death, even if you only count the past six months… But much of what I wrote was in private avenues. On my blog I share comparatively little. One good example though is this poem:
    But grief has been in my mind a ton. I’ve written fanfiction themed around it. I’ve gotten really good reactions to the Harry Potter grief piece I wrote just a few months before the murder-suicide in my life:

    I’m currently actually feeling “ok” and like I’m not actually in grief mode anymore, finally, after that trauma and loss six months ago. But I’m still listening (yes in audiobook form) to the highly recommended book “It’s OK That You’re Not OK” by Megan Devine right now actually. It’s better than I was expecting, even when I don’t need it currently I appreciate it a lot as a book.

    I hope things feel better for you soon. One thing I really appreciated throughout both the murder-suicide grief but also back when I was still grieving my grandmother for a whole month was googling and finding out all this information on disenfranchised grief. That was really validating and might help you if people treat you like you shouldn’t feel this upset over the loss of a grandparent, etc. Just do a search on the topic if you’re interested.

  8. astarlia says:

    Thank you. I really appreciate you sharing such a personal story and I will definatly check out those links.

  9. Guorami says:

    My dad, who I was very close to, died unexpectedly when I was a young teenager. There is a lot I could say about it but I don’t really want to dive to much in right now. This is a good topic though.

    About things not feeling any different, I feel you there. I think it makes a difference when the person isn’t in your immediate life/vicinity beforehand. I was very close to my dad but he lived a plane trip away; I would go and stay with him during the summer. So when he died I remember it almost didn’t feel real for a long time. He wasn’t there(physically) and then he still wasn’t there. So it was more of an abstract thing, now he was never going to be there.
    And, I don’t know, nothing changed. I went to school, I ate dinner, I goofed off with my friends. Nothing was different. And at the same time I was devastated, I’m still devastated over ten years later. I don’t really want to get into my grieving process right now but yeah.

    My consideration though, I guess, is I assume it would be different, not necessarily worse or better but different, if the person was in your daily life, or you lived with them. When I’ve had pets die, hope no one gets offended by my comparing the two, there is this….immediacy to the grief. Because they were ~right there~ and now they aren’t. Your daily retinue changes. They’re aren’t barging into your room anymore. I feels more real I guess. So I imagine it would be a different experience loosing a loved one who you lived with or saw regularly/daily.

    • astarlia says:

      yeah exactly that ❤

      plus for me it's that mixing of the people who didn't live here getting all up in the space of the people who are still dealing with that sense of immediacy.

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