I don’t know where to start writing. I have had this brilliant post in my head for about two days now, and I really wanted to share it properly with you guys. But more often that preferred, it slips my mind when I am about to write it. So I just spent about 15 minutes just staring at the screen, trying to recreate that very post. Nope, not here yet.
My entire being is confused right now. I try to make sense of things, but it just doesn’t want to work. I don’t have any track of time, and I definitely have no idea what day it is unless I am told. I also have no sense of direction. While getting a much needed cup of coffee yesterday at university, I kind of got lost at the, for me, so familiar Biology department. I fricking got lost in one of my all time favorite places here.
Before I tell you about the reason behind all of this, I need to tell the readers who don’t want to read a morbid text to click away. Go somewhere else and enjoy your internet. For those who choose to stay, thank you.
Before my mom got her own apartment, we lived with my grandparents. Dad hadn’t caught the banana boat here yet, and so I spent a few years with my mother’s parents and siblings. I remember being told later in life, that I never wanted to live with my parents because I loved living in a huge household (my mom has 11 siblings), and I loved my grandparents above all. My dad had to bribe me with a very large aquarium and many fishes, to get me to agree to go live with them. It certainly did not help that my grandparents kept an even larger aquarium at their place. I agreed, in the end, but I still spent most nights tucked in between my grandparents. It was the best place in the world for me.
Just recently, mom told me about the countless times I would tell Chinese parents from daycare to help me cross the streets. I’d say something like: “Ma’am, could you help me cross the street? I want to go to my grandparents. I know the way, I just don’t know how to watch out for the cars on the streets.” Little toddler me never wanted to be anywhere else but with my grandparents.
Go back two years, and my grandmother is diagnosed with colon cancer. They remove most of her intestines, and she gets chemo. I remember spending every spare second by her side. I kept telling her nothing could ever happen to her, or grandpa would be left alone. She had to win this war. I knew they’d been together forever. They met when she was 14 and he was 18. I told grandpa that we were all in this together, and as the huge family we were, most of us stuck together.
Fast forward, and I became a mother. A life event that enhanced my empathy even more (it’s like I don’t have enough of it and now I get emotional over anything). A few months ago, my grandma got hospitalized again, and I was petrified. I couldn’t even imagine what grandpa must have felt. I got the dreaded news that the doctors couldn’t do much anymore. No surgery, no chemo, no nothing could help her. It hurt me beyond my senses when I visited her and saw how everyone else in the room had a CPR machine by the end of the bed, and she didn’t. She was responsive though, and eventually she was transferred to a geriatric care. She loved it there, and so did grandpa. The geriatric care was close to their house, so grandpa no longer needed to commute to another city to visit grandma. He visited several times a day, and every time he would bring her her favorite food and enjoy it with her, as they had been the past 60+ years.
Then, last Saturday, I first receive a text message from my cousin. She wonders when and where to meet, as we had decided to have lunch together. However, those plans are quickly laid aside when the messaging turns 180°. Our lunch is postponed the second she tells me her parents (her dad is my uncle) are going to see grandma. My mom calls the second I have read the last word of my cousin’s newest text message. Grandma had been unresponsive since last night, and she had yet to respond to anyone.
The Dutchman and Zoe were still asleep at the time, so I quickly jot down “Seeing grandma, phone is almost out of battery, will try to keep in touch.” And I take off. In less than an hour, I am by my beloved grandmother’s side. I’m first there, and I spend what feels like an eternity to call out for her. I repeat what I have told her the past years, telling her she just can’t leave grandpa. Other than a few tears, there is not much of a response from her. That day, I spent by her bedside for almost 7 hours. I decide to take a break, and meet a few friends to get my mind off things. It turned out to be an impossible task.
When I finally got home, I break down. I didn’t want to, but the feelings were overwhelming and I just had to let them out. For hours, I cried, and before I knew it, the clock hit 330am. I hadn’t slept in almost 20 hours. I wanted to, but my uncle calls the second my tears stop.
Somehow, I froze. I knew what to do. I knew I had to get a ride to the home. I get there, and I couldn’t help myself. That morning, my grandmother, the one person that has directly influenced me to great lengths, passed away. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to witness. I hated every second of it, but at the same time I knew I had to be there. It’d be better like that. I’d feel better, and most importantly, I would get closure. Definitely the worst morning of my life so far.
I made a promise of visiting as much as I can, but I feel now that I have failed to do so. I keep in mind that life happens, and we all make the best of it. But I feel I didn’t do enough, like I didn’t push myself to do better. I look back at the many memories I have, and I really don’t how to react. They’re precious, that’s for sure, but I really am entirely clueless of where to find the strength to be a good mom, a good partner, a good daughter, and a good student at this difficult time. This pain is tremendous. I wish I had a converter that turned it into strength so that I could study properly. I wish, but I know that it only would turn out disastrous, because that’s not how the world works.
Right now, there are three different parts of me, each standing at a different point of view in all of this grief. One where I constantly remind myself that is a long and hard process that I have to get through in order to get back to normal. Another where I simply want to cry all the time and neglect all responsibilities, and a third where I want to deny everything and move along. I hope there’s a balance to all of this. I’m confused, scared, and cold.
The most comforting thing, second to that she passed without suffering and surrounded by family, is that I am a quarter of her and grandpa (I say 1/4 because it’s simple, I know that number is biologically incorrect). I need to engulf myself in my studies again so that I can keep up. An exam is coming up, and I feel left behind in all of this turmoil.
//c_Cae; don’t tell me to stay strong, because I am. Tell me how to process this better along with everything else that is on my plate