Everyone has their own way of dealing with the loss of someone they care deeply about. The dynamics of grieving in a close-knit family have a tendency for awkward power struggles as everyone begins to lash out at each other for an inability to properly handle the loss of control that death preemptively alludes to, that in the end, we really have no control whatsoever over who comes and goes and when, only that at some point everyone will.
Yesterday we went to see my grandpa for probably the last time in his living time. It’s sweet to watch my Aunt latch onto him and call him ‘daddy’, like she’s the same little girl again, needing him still. I see my own daddy and remember the various stages of death we learned about through the process of watching him die. Everyone is anxious over the end as if afraid to face some inevitable truth.
In these moments I am thinking about my own way of grieving. I’ve always been the strong one, always. Sometimes this strength is seen in others as a certain coldness, some weird inability to show my true emotions in the moment. Maybe some would say I have an avoidant style in my mourning. I don’t believe that’s true. I grieve things in my own way, a way that works for me. I’m realistic about it the whole way through, some deaths are harder than others, some took me years to grieve.
My dad said I had a rough childhood growing up because I was always going to funerals. I never believed this either. I don’t know why, I just always had an understanding with death. It hurts a lot to lose the closest people to you, don’t get me wrong I have cried a lot over the deaths of the closest people to me and it’ll kill me even more inside when my mama goes, but I feel I’ve always had a certain understanding with death.