“Grief is like the ocean, it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”
– Vicki Harrison
Tomorrow marks the 4 year anniversary of my grandmothers passing. This last week I’ve really been struggling because this day weighs so heavily on my heart. So in my typical fashion I feel the need to analyze these feelings. I know that the sadness of not having my dear Myan in my life anymore hurts me daily. The desire to call her, hear her voice and laughter, listen to her sing her enchanting french hymns as she moves through her kitchen busily cooking her delicious rice and beans and washing her dishes. I miss the feel of her skin. Even as an adult I would curl up on the couch with her and stroke her arms, her skin smooth like velvet. I want to hear her say “oh ma fille” or the occasional “oh vagabond” when I did or said something she didn’t like. I want to tell her I love her more and hear her reply in all her sweetness “I know you do”.
I have a billion and one beautiful memories, I have pictures, trinkets…feelings I hold on to. My sister and I were by her side till the very end. It was such a peaceful transition and all her prayers were answered, her heavenly father reunited her with her daughter, my mother, she would pray for this and there’s a great sense of peace knowing they are finally together. Yet…. I.can’t.let.go.of.the.grief. They’re together NOT with me and there’s this part of me that is selfishly angry. It’s ridiculous! Really! I mean Myan was 102, I know this but my inner child that lost her mother at the age of 9 is still very angry and in my 9 year old heart God was a really cruel person and for years I felt my enemy. 35 years later and though I think I’ve moved beyond this I obviously still harbor resentment. Several times a year, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries etc I’m drawn into this dark place where I’m angry, sad, heartbroken, lonely … I feel foolish for dwelling but my heart has this strong hold on my emotions and my mind is not capable of rationalizing with it.
I had made this video for Myan because I was afraid I wouldn’t make it to California in time. Through the tears I promised her that I would tell stories of my amazing grandmother keeping her memory and love eternal. Amazing is actually an understatement, she was a living angel. She would literally give the shirt off her back to anyone in need. Her garden blossomed with her loving touch and so did her grand and great grandchildren. She had the faith to move mountains and the courage to take down whoever stood in her path. I always say she had as much spice as she did sweetness and I’m proud to say I’m just like her. She taught me everything I knew about being a mother and when I came to her at the age of 15 to tell her I was pregnant, when the world made me feel like I was making the worst decision of my life, she supported me fully and kept me well nourished so I could deliver a beautiful healthy baby boy. She was a woman of great faith, wisdom and heart. Those that new her loved her immensely some without knowing why, like my husband, who spoke the three words that every girl longs to hear to my grandmother before uttering them to me. Was I annoyed? YES! but I got it, I mean you couldn’t help but love her. People of no relation called her Mama or Grandma. When I was young I think most of the kids in the neighborhood came over not because of me but because Myan made the best freakin chocolate chip cookies ever. Truth is I could go on and on because life with Myan was simply beautiful.
“As long as I live, as long as I breathe, with every beat of my heart, you will not be forgotten…. This I promise you.” – Angelo Miller
I decided today that maybe pouring my heart out, releasing these emotions and just holding on to the feelings of love might help me get through this, a reminder to myself that I have the greatest love story, though at the moment the huge lump of vulnerability in my throat has me questioning what I’m doing here but who knows maybe my words will help someone else feel not so alone with their own inner struggles.
So to those that have suffered the loss of a loved one and those that struggle daily with the pangs I’m sending a big hug. It may not get easier but know that you’re not alone. Ride those waves. xo Wendie