It's a funny thing, grief. It can consume you entirely, leaving you an empty shell, or it could make you go off the deep end, overflowing you with pent up emotions, etc. Or it can land you anywhere in between. It really can fuck you up in a multitude of ways.
As you'll have read in one of my most recent posts, last week marked the one year anniversary of the death of my Granda, so naturally I've been feeling pretty low. He was the greatest. I've never met a friendlier guy - he'd go out for a quick nip to the shops, and he'd be gone for hours because he'd talk to every single person he'd bump into on the way there, whilst he was there, and then on the way back.
His (and my gran's) life revolved around my dog, Pal. They bought him for me when I was 8, but as my parents both worked, he had to stay at their house - due to my parents working, I was almost always at theirs, too, anyway. When Pal was put down in August last year, it broke them both. But whilst it hurt my Gran emotionally, it had also taken away my Granda's "purpose". I don't say that in a bad way, as though he was only there to walk the dog. Far from it. But my Granda lived for Pal. He'd get up super early to take Pal for a walk, something my Granda adored doing. He loved to get out the house for a bit, so he'd be out walking Pal a million times a day, and with Pal gone, his reason for going 500 walks during the day had gone, too.
Two months after we lost Pal, my Granda had to go into hospital for his leg. This was common as he'd always had problems with the skin on his legs, but this time he'd fallen too, and was getting checked for that also. Within a few days, my Granda's skin was bright yellow with jaundice, and we received some horrible news. He had cancer, and they expected that he wouldn't last till Christmas. Almost instantly, my Granda went from being the warm, funny man I'd always known, to being quiet, withdrawn and confused. A week passed, and they told us that things didn't look good, and they let my Granda go home to be with family. He was in his bed, screaming in pain every night until he passed away, less than a week after being allowed home. Seeing him like that will haunt me forever.
Christmas was hard. New Year was even harder. New Year is difficult as it is, as that is when you tend to remember everyone you've lost, and my Uncle Jim (who was my Gran and Granda's youngest son) has always been in our thoughts every New Year, as myself and my dad are still struggling with his death. But now, this was combined with us losing my Granda, too. We tried to stay positive, joking in that way that families do after a bereavement. Laughing about how Granda was just desperate to go and walk Pal again, and that at least he was with Jim now.
It kills me that my Granda didn't get to meet Eva before he passed away. It hurts that he didn't even know that he was getting another great-grandchild, because at that point, we didn't even know.
In May, just a week or so after Eva was born, my Gran (who hadn't been the same since my Granda's death, as you'd expect) fell and broke her hip. This caused a chain reaction of events, such as surgery, then infection, more surgery, then more infection, etc. This lasted a couple of months, with my Gran in hospital the whole time. My gran was a feisty character, she was the nurses' worst nightmare. She would shout at the nurses, she would give everyone a piece of her mind. She hated the physio, so would refuse to do it, but of course by not doing it, she was just making her mobility worse.
She already struggled with her memory, but it was getting worse. She shouted at me on one of my visits for being covered in mud and having a black eye, neither of which were true. The doctors said they thought it was a combination of being on so many painkillers, and her infections that were messing with her. Within weeks, she was non-responsive, and taking multiple seizures a day. The nurses took us to one side and let us know that nothing else could be done with her, so all that was left to do was to take her off her glucose drip, and to let her slip away.
So in less than a year, I've lost both my grandparents. They were practically parents to me, due to my parents always working. I'd be dropped off at theirs every morning before school, super early, and then picked up later on at night. I'd stay at theirs overnight every week, firstly on a Thursday, but this changed to a Monday night as I got older. After I got my own house, I went down to visit them every week, taking AJ with me.
Losing them has really messed with me. I try to keep everything fine on the surface, but underneath I've been really struggling. I often find myself just staring into space, just feeling totally numb. I know I'm okay, I know that life goes on, as I've been told. But it's hard. My dad is feeling it worse, and it's painful watching him go through this, even though I'm going through it myself (but obviously, it being your parents is worse). And not only have I lost both of them, but everything at the start of the year didn't help either, what with losing my job, finding out I was pregnant and then losing my house. (Don't get me wrong, Eva is one of the best things to have ever happened to me, but she was certainly a shock! Only knew she existed for 6 weeks before I gave birth to her!)
I have been struggling to find motivation to do things, even things as simple as tidying up the house. I've always been lazy, no doubt about that (haha), but this just feels different. I have good days, where I feel like I get loads done, but those don't happen too often. Today feels like one of them - despite the fact that I've been bawling my eyes out writing this.
I don't really know why I'm writing this to be honest, I just kinda wanted to get it off my chest. Maybe explain to you all a little bit as to why I've been so shit at doing things here lately. I'm going to force myself to do more though, as it definitely helps when I do. The more I do, the more I feel motivated to continue. So I need to keep going in order to not fall back into a slump.
I will try to get all of my backlog of posts up over the course of today, so expect to see a whole load of things as the day goes on. I will put updates on facebook and twitter when each post goes live, so make sure to check there, too.
And sorry for the super depressing post, I just wanted to offload a bit haha.
- V x