Mourning the Holidays

TW: Death.

December 20, 2013 was when my grandpa died.

He had been sick for a long time. He had been in a medically induced coma since October that year. When I heard he was in the medically induced coma I wept and needed support for days.

Then, strangely, on getting a call that he was never going to wake up again and my grandma was going to remove him from his artificial life support, I was calm. I cried a little, but nothing compared to when I cried in October.

I just started a new job for J-Term that was outbound telemarketing. I ended up quitting after 3 days. It was just a horrible week.

My parents sped up to meet her, but since they didn’t call ahead, she ended up pulling the plug before they got there. And I had no way of getting up there because my car wasn’t working (I can’t remember the exact issue, spark plugs or the oil needed changing and I was too late?).

Fast forward to some point where I need to print out something at my parents, and I’m being told by my grandma to smile and think of happy times, and my mom is telling me the same, I have my dad – who is a colossal asshole that I will never love in my life again, ever – who is sitting there muttering that he is going to divorce my mom because she wasn’t crying enough. And I’m sitting there talking and laughing with my brother trying to remember things about my grandpa (which was hard, because my dad is a colossal asshole who moved us from living with my grandparents and basically fled when I was 4 and my brother was a baby, and did not let me see them again until I was 13 in the hospital with a ruptured appendix). So while we are talking about vague memories, he calls me a bitch. Like, literally said, “You’re acting like a bitch.” So I leave. I’m devastated. He acted like he was close with my grandpa, but kept him from us for over 10 years because of some argument, some disagreement.

Before Christmas there was a memorial that I was not able to attend. My dad drove up but did not offer to take me even though he knew my car was broken. So he went up to mourn with my grandma, who I couldn’t see either. It was not a good month.

My therapist had to spend the next month telling me that there was no wrong way to mourn. THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO MOURN. I should not have been called a bitch for deciding to go for a more cheerful route of mourning and memorializing. She is right.

On top of that, it was my first Christmas with Andrew and he went to his grandma’s, but didn’t come home. I made a roast and waited and waited and waited. I’ll never get over how that went down. While I was in mourning, with that disgusting, dry roast, sitting alone for the entirety of Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day and almost onto the 26th. So, I will mourn losing those moments. He didn’t like the tone of my voice. Someday I may have to confront him about it.

So, I solemnly just moved on with my life. I had never known anybody close to me who had died, and even with my grandpa, we weren’t particularly close. A friend’s grandpa died on Christmas back in 2007, and that was really sad because my friend’s birthday was the 26th of December.

I spent some time with my grandparents before I could drive while he still lived in the house with my grandma, but once I began college it was less frequent that I made it up there as it was a 2 and a half hour drive and I had to work around classes, homework, work, etc. I feel guilty. I can’t guilt myself for doing what I was believed  I needed to do – go to college, get a job, start that life.

But it feels empty. Christmas was never a time I particularly enjoyed. My grandma loves it though, but I guess her regret is not being able to teach me her traditional Christmas line-up. I guess we invented our own.

I received word that a dear friend’s mom passed away yesterday morning after a long struggle to live after battling cancer. So, that is an added stress to me because I feel so bad. I can’t even say I full empathize because I’ve never lost anybody that close to me. But I do not like death, even though I work around it. And I don’t understand it.

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2 thoughts on “Mourning the Holidays

  1. I read this a while back..just commenting now. I am sorry for this awful experience. And I don’t know your dad, but some people are just toxic and even if they are your parent, it’s best to stay away from that sort of toxicity and focus on the good and positive thing in your life.

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