Grief and it’s accompaniments

My grandpa died on Saturday. I got the call during our morning breakfast ritual. Living in Germany, and being in the US so briefly, I’m currently reliant on WiFi to connect with the outside world. My mom’s call came in shoddy…”Hello? Jordan? Can you hear me?” My connection was bad so my .03 second delay in response time didn’t (nor does it ever) cooperate with my mom’s short attention span. “Jordan, MY DAD DIED. HELLO? Can you hear me? GRANDPA’S DEAD.”
I could hear her, but she couldn’t hear me, apparently. The call was dropped within seconds and that was that. Grandpa died.

No appetite anymore, I went straight to the computer to look at flights. There are a lot of small airports near where we are at in Alabama; none with affordable last-minute flights to Phoenix. Still, within 24 hours, I arrived and the “work” began immediately.

My grandma just died in April. We were still in Germany at the time and it killed me to miss being with my family, my favorite people, while they were grieving. Especially my mother. Being in the US, it wasn’t going to happen that way again. Apparently I thought that this [mostly] mentally stable and healthy group of siblings would handle this better. I was WRONG.

What a nightmare! The tension and fighting began within minutes of my uncle arriving – after a 12 hour drive – to see his father’s house in chaos as we were sorting through some 10,000+ pictures and keepsakes my grandmother meticulously kept. From that moment, one wrong sentence, misinterpreted, and the whole week was shot. No reasoning, intense grief, decades of resentment, and alcohol – not the greatest combination for a beloved man’s wake.

I hope I find the time and energy to write more about it later. I’ve been thinking of writing, but too covered in the dust of a 72+ year collection of STUFF. Surrounded by baggage resentment that I never knew existed.

I’m heartbroken and disappointed. I’m sad because my favorite family is straight-up BROKEN. It’s not fair to my future kids, or to my parents, or theirs.

He never wanted this, I’ll tell you that. They’re all giving up but I have to stay strong. I really do believe in our family love. I’m too young to take the matriarch role, but shit… I don’t know if anyone else can bear the weight of the shoes.

Right now, it’s a loose fit, but I’m wearing them.

Then I remember that I’ll be leaving country again soon.


4 thoughts on “Grief and it’s accompaniments

  1. I understand the need to be strong when your family is weak from tragedy. So I won’t tell you to be strong since you already know that.

    I will tell you that it’s okay to cry by yourself. Do not be ashamed of crying (by yourself or with others) because you are human.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My sweet girl, I’m so sorry to read this. It’s not uncommon for immediate grief to compound at the family gathering into this kind of situation. I regret that you experienced a kind of worst case scenario surrounding the loss of your beloved grandfather. You are and will be a huge stabilizing, healing pillar of the family. Even the messy baggage will get better, bear in mind, with time. It’s true that resentment grows when it’s not addressed openly – and perhaps your aunts and uncles won’t do that. Nevertheless, the critical pain immediately following the loss is the most painful, and often most messy, time. I’m sorry it got ugly. Try not to take too much of it on. You’re doing the right thing to focus on what he would have wanted, to celebrate love and his life. I love you.


    1. Oh sister. I can’t wait to get to you so we can TALK! Who knew that after the amount of insurmountable odds I’ve conquered in the last year that THIS might be the thing that breaks my sanity?
      I’m still feeling defeated and apathetic…
      I do so love you and appreciate your support. I hope to not grow so old and weary as time passes. Harboring resentments is the most painful and toxic affliction. My new greatest fear is that I’ve inherited it.


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