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November 29, 2006 / allyo

Sorrow

Shortly after my grandma died we were reading Goodnight Moon and on a whim I told Jamie that the old lady whispering hush was Granny, the official "great grandmother" title in my mom’s family. He thought this was funny and I decided it would be a small way to remember her.

Tonight not only did he use a preposition perfectly (clue on white coat), and play a little joke on me by inching his fingers toward mine bit by bit, making the "oh, oh, ooohh" noise that I make when getting ready to tickle him, AND call me "eee-sha," but he also asked to read Goodnight Moon and then repeated each line back to me as I read it. When we got to the end and told the old lady goodnight, we both said "nigh nigh granny," and, like it has so often in the last month or so, my grief rose up in my throat and threatened to choke me. As I laid next to him in the big bed* while he wiggled himself to sleep I wanted to scream and cry from the sorrow that comes from knowing he’ll never remember granny other than as a character in a much loved book and that she won’t ever have the pleasure of having a joke played on her by her two year old great-grandson.

After Grandma died and I went back to work I simply put it all out of my mind. I was extremely busy at work and wondered if maybe this once what we say to comfort ourselves – she’s no longer in pain, she’s happy now – might actually shield me from the pain of losing her. Then almost exactly a month after she died I was talking to C and telling her that the reason we hadn’t been buy to pick up the rest of our boxes from Grandma’s was because Jamie had been so sick and I had been sick and MD’s leg had been hurting him, and while she did nothing wrong, her response, a kind of gruff, "what a sick house you live in!" made me realized just what I had lost. Grandma would have said, "oh dear," and clucked her tongue, tsk tsk tsk, and said, "ooh, I’m sorry. i hope you all feel better soon. i wish there was something I could do." and more than the words the tone of her voice, the automatic desire to make it all better, is what I have lost.

And so when I talked to C today and she sobbed and said how hard everything has been and how she needs to know if we are going to have a relationship or not because she can’t take the stress and how not matter what I think she adores me, and that she wants me to always remember that my mother loves me, I felt nothing. Nothing but sadness that my grandma’s prediction, that she would outlive C, hadn’t come true. Sadness that I’m left with this mess of a person who has given me little and taken much. Sadness that doing the right thing and doing what is best for me seem to be mutually exclusive and knowing that somehow I will have to balance the two.

*About five minutes after we turned out the light tonight, Jamie picked up his pillow, marched over to the door, and demanded to sleep in "mommy’s bed." Oookay.

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2 Comments

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  1. Emmie (Better Make It A Double) / Nov 30 2006 3:09 pm

    I’m really sorry that you have to deal with all this. I”m glad you have that sweet boy to cuddle with.

  2. Vienna / Dec 1 2006 7:59 pm

    I’m really sorry, too. I don’t have anything wise to add, so I guess I’ll just leave you with my best wishes and an I’m sorry.

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