by Andrea Tadpole
I have a lot of things on my mind these days. Too many thoughts run through my head and I cannot focus on one. I am so lonely most of the time, even when I'm in a crowd. I see people around me but I peer at them as if through a crack in my door. Inside, everyone is held at bay. They only get in so far and I choke. I don't know why. I am not REALLY talking to anyone. I find myself smiling and nodding a lot but never really saying where I am at. I feel myself slipping away but I don't know where I am going.
I went to a funeral for a friend's baby boy the other day. During the eulogy I stood there and thought about all the deaths I have been through. Since 2004 I have buried at least 10 family members and friends. The very thought of it sickens me. The sorrow is at depths I have never known and there are no words to describe it.
My mind went back to my granddaughter Zoey's birth, her 11 minute fight to live and her death. Her funeral is a blur now. All I remember is begging God over and over to let me switch places with her. A couple of years later we buried her brother Mikey, a few spots over from her.
Mikey was my only grandson. There is no way to describe the torment I went through when Mikey died. I was not allowed at the viewing. I was banned from the funeral and not allowed to stand under the same pavilion I was sitting at today. I wasn't allowed to say goodbye to him; all because of some asinine misunderstanding. It crushed me to the very depths of my soul. I sat on my granddaughter's bench and sobbed during the service. The evil ones running the show, my son's mother-in-law and father-in-law tried to have me removed from the grounds. It didn't work. I was allowed to drop a single handful of dirt on my grandson's tiny coffin and that was all. There was no one to really console me. The one's that were there expected me to just shake it off and move on.
Since that horrible day my son and I have rebuilt our relationship. His sorry excuse for a wife is now an ex and her evil spirited family is gone. All that's left are the two graves of my two grandchildren whom I would gladly give my life up for still today. The relationship I was in is over. I was laid off from my job. Everything in my life has fallen apart. It's all dead and gone.
While I was thinking about these things I was gazing at the crowd and I saw my friend Donnie in the background. For a brief moment my heart leapt inside me. I have missed him so much. He was smiling his ornery smile that always made me laugh. I chuckled in the midst of my tears. Then I remembered; Donnie was killed in a head on collision a couple of months ago. I didn't go to his funeral because I could not bear it.
At that moment I knew Donny's spirit was there to tell me goodbye and that he was okay. I am grateful for that gift, yet it does not make reality any better. It does not make the gnawing ache in my heart go away. I am afraid the knot in my throat is permanent and I will choke back tears for the rest of my life.
Over the past few years I have had to pull myself from the ashes and try to move on; I just don't do it very gracefully. How can one recover from such annihilation with any dignity left? How does one do it? Tell me, because I haven't found a way. The best I can do is just make it through each day, one day at a time.
There are days the ache in my heart is suffocating and it is a fight to get out of bed and go to work. At times I have no ability to really connect with anyone. I am just there. That's all. I am an artist. I love to create whether its a painting, drawing, stained glass, photography; yet I have hit a block in many of my creative outlets. I have not painted or drawn anything since Zoey died. I started a painting of her. The sorrow was so heavy I could not finish it. It's still in my closet unfinished. I keep thinking some day I will get back to it.
The one thing I have done continually is writing. I love writing my thoughts and feelings. Like writing stories about my life and I love to write poetry. It is very healing. I don't think I am a good writer but it helps to put it out there. I have a blog where I keep it all. I secretly hope I get thousands of followers some day but know in reality that will probably not happen.
Today I have a job. It's not a permanent job, but nothing in this life is permanent anyway, is it? I honestly have no idea where I am going. I just want to find peace inside myself again. I want to quiet the gnawing ache in my heart or at least learn to live in spite of it. I want to paint and draw again. I want to find the courage to write the book I see in my heart. The pages are blank and that terrifies me. I suspect though that if I just start writing the words will come and the pages will be filled.
I find the greatest joy still lies in spending time with my granddaughters when I allow myself to do it. They are like soothing balm to my weary soul. True gifts of beauty, light, fire and joy from above. I am blessed to be there grandmother. They give me so much more than I could ever give them.
I am not sure where my life's journey will take me, but I hope it is somewhere good. I've had all the sorrow I can take for a lifetime.