The First Halloween

A few months had passed since both my grandma and dad passed away.  The days were up and down, along with the emotions being all over the place.  It was very frustrating at times, as I would just burst out into tears or just get angry for now reason.  My son was the same way, I heard him sometimes crying in his room.  I felt so bad for him and just wanted to take all the pain away for him and make his world whole.  Though sadly I just couldn't do that and it broke my heart.

Halloween came around and it was a sad day.  I always took my son up to my grandma's house for Halloween to trick or treat and for her to see his costume.  He loved it as he got to run into her house yelling, "trick or treat."  This year it didn't happen and it was hard on both of us.  He wanted grandma to see his awesome cost, but sadly that just couldn't happen.

I would then take him over to my parents to go trick or treating, and my dad would always tease him about stealing all of his candy.  He would tell Papa, that he couldn't do that, but if he was a good boy he would give him a piece.  It was so sweet.  I did take him over to see my mom, and he got a little trick or treat.  Yet you could see the sadness on his eyes, that his Papa didn't come tease him about the candy.  It was so quiet, and very sad.

My son did perk up when I took him trick or treating.  He got excited and started running.  Plus he was so happy he got some of his favorite candies. All in all we did manage to get through the first holiday without both of them.  Perhaps next year will be a little easier or it could be a little harder, as we are still in that shocked stage, where things don't feel real.

Dad's Funeral

Getting ready for another funeral just plain sucks.  Especially trying to get a child ready for one that he doesn't want to go to because he just went to one.  I felt bad for him, and I really wish that there was some way that I could take the pain away for him.

We arrived at the funeral home and there were a lot of people already there.  My dad knew a lot of people and has a large family.  Some of these people I haven't seen in a while or I never met them because they life far away.  My dad's ex-wife was there as well, as were my half brother and sister.  My half sister didn't even acknowledge me and she didn't even contact me before the funeral.  Plus I found out later this night that she defriended me on Facebook as well.  I couldn't believe the nerve of her to do that on the day of our dad's funeral.

I was talking to my sister and cousin, when a man walked it.  He freaked me out so much, as he looked so much like my dad.  My mom brought him over and it was my uncle Stan, who was my dad's youngest brother.  I had never met him, and he said it was nice to meet me after all this time.  I told him it was 35 years, and he said it shouldn't have been that long.  Felt kind of bad for him.  My son was  so freaked out as here was this man that looked like his papa, but wasn't his papa.  Stan bent down and told my son how much his papa loved him and how he always talked about his little buddy and the stuff they did.  I thought that was sweet of him to do and I think it helped my little boy out.

The service was nice and I thought it was very fitting.  I didn't write a poem for the funeral, I just couldn't do it.  So I read a quote that I found, along with Psalm 23.  After the service it was time to go up to the cemetery.  That is when things kind of got ugly.  When my dad's ashes were being loaded up into the hearse, my half sister and dad's ex-wife litereally pushed my mom out of the way so they could be there.  My mom should have been there as that was her spot.  I was helping my mom get there, when she was pushed out of the way.  I told them that wasn't there place, and they just stood there looking dumb.

At the cemetery, my sister went over and said something to the ex-wife and half sister.  They were rude to her so my sister called them a bitches.  The Navy had representatives there, and people from the Veterans.  He had a beautiful military solute.  It was the first time I had seen one as my grandpa didn't want one for his time served in the army during World War 2.  I'm glad that we had one for my dad as it was an amazing experience.  When the 21 gun salute was going on, it hit my mom that this was it.  I felt so bad for her, I was staying strong for her and holding my feelings in.  She was crying when the guy from the Navy handed her the folded up flag.

My best friend flew out from back east to be there for the funeral and it made me so happy that she was there.  Though the was horrified at the way my Dad's family were acting, and I was embarrassed that they couldn't keep it together for the funeral.

My uncle Roy told us that we could kiss his behind as he didn't care what we thought or what we wanted.  My half brother took all of the casings from the salute, handing them out to my dads brothers, and making sure my son didn't get one, even though he was promised one.  It was just so sad the way that they were acting, as there was no need for it.  It is sad that family has to act that way, when you are supposed to be pulling together.

After everyone left,  my mom and sister were talking by the car.  While they were talking, I watched them bury my dad's ashes.  I just couldn't look way, no matter how much I wanted to.  It was bothering me that he was being buried, even though I knew he was gone.  It is just something that I really can't describe.

Loosing My Dad

I just couldn't escape death that summer.  It seemed to linger, to remind us that it was still here and that none of us were safe from it.  Just six weeks and one day later, my dad died.  That one was such a shock, as he was so healthy.  My mom and I were picking out the headstone for my grandma, when he died.  Crazy thing is that morning when I saw him, he was doing great.  He said he was having a wonderful day and was feeling so good.

After picking out the headstone my mother and I went shopping.  When we came home, we didn't see my dad anywhere.  My son was going to go look for him out by the back door, when all of a sudden I called out no.  My son stopped and looked at me with a really puzzled look on his face.  So we went home and a little bit later my mom called me saying she found my dad dead, outside by the back door.  That was the same door my son was going to go.  I am so glad I was prompted to say no to him as it would have been so horrible for him to find his beloved papa dead.

My mom was in shock and when I got to her house, I started sobbing, begging her to never leave me.  I was three fourths an orphan (my mom's parents helped raise me)  now, and I hated it.  I didn't know what to think about it.  I felt so bad and I was in disbelief that he was gone, especially after seeing him that morning looking fantastic.  I called my aunt and she started crying.  I tried to get a hold of my one sister, but couldn't.  So I had to leave her a voicemail, and text, along with a Facebook message for her to call our mom.  I called my half brother and told him, he was upset as he was supposed to come down the next day to take our dad out to dinner.  Our dad was looking forward to it.

My dad's one brother in law came over that night and talked with us.  He was kind and I know my mom appreciated it so much.  When I went back over to my mom's after talking to my sister, we had to break the news to my son.  My mom told him that Papa isn't here anymore, and he looked at her confused.  So I had to tell him that Papa is in heaven, and he just looked at me, while holding onto to my mom.  Then we told him he died.  My son started to cry and said, "What did he do that for?"  He was so devastated as he was so close to my dad.  They were buddies and did everything together.  My poor little one had just lost his grandmother and now his papa.  Later that day, my mom started cleaning out her dishes and getting rid of things that were both hers and my dads.  I called my sister and told her what was going on, so she tried talking to my mom and all my mom said was that she didn't want them anymore.  I think it was her way of trying to deal with the death.

My other half sister was being a bitch to my mom, making demands and stuff.  So my sister took care of it and told the other one to not call my mom.  My one aunt called late in the afternoon and then no one called my mom until my other aunt called her Monday night.  It was so horrible.  I was so mad at them for not call my mom.  They should have been there and called her.  It was so sad.

The funeral arrangements weren't too bad, my brother wanted to be there to make them.  He wasn't that happy with the headstone we picked out.  My dad served in the Navy, so his stone was paid for my the veterans.  The stone was white with grey veins through it  It will have have his rank in the navy on it. 

Picking Out the Headstone

You always think that death won't bother you and that you will never be involved in the aftermath of death.  Sadly, you are mistaken as it will bother you and you will be involved in some degree.  It is just a part of life, and you really have no choice in the matter.

Six weeks went by before we could even think about getting a headstone ordered for her.  It was just so fresh and painful.  I still felt like I was walking around in some kind of daze and that life wasn't really happening.  That I would wake up and find my grandma waiting for me to bring her a fresh baked berry pie.

I can't find the word to describe all of the feelings that I went through in just six weeks.  A lot of it was hurt and anger.  I would just sob my days away, not wanting to do anything.  I just wanted to stay in bed, but I had a son to take care of, therefore I had to get out of bed.  I didn't have that choice.  I'm glad that I was able to be at home, and not worry about a job.  I do feel blessed with that.  My husband didn't know what to think or feel, he just gave me a lot of hugs.  It is all he really could do.  He couldn't understand what it was like, even though he had lost his grandmother a few years ago.  Everyone grieves differently and everyone handles their grief differently.  For me I was either angry at the world or a sobbing mess.

A couple weeks after my grandma died, my husband planned a surprise trip for us.  I came home from putting flowers on here grave, and he came running out. He started loading the jeep and told me to get last minute things I and our son would need.  I did, but I was nervous and anxious, as I didn't know where we were going and I didn't feel like going anywhere.  Come to find out he had planned a trip to the beach for me.  The ocean is my happy place and it make me feel so much better about life.  He took me to Redondo Beach, California.  It has a special meaning for me, as my grandparents would go there every year for their anniversary, before moving to another state.  I was so emotional as I was standing in the water, feeling the waves lap around my feet.  I must have stood there and cried for a good ten minutes.  We spent time there and when we left that special place I did cry more, though I promised myself I would come back.  I began my healing on that beach, and it will always hold special meaning to me.

On the 23rd of June, my mother and I went to pick out the headstone.  That was so hard to do.  I sat there crying as they lady was drawing it out on her computer. The others didn't want to come down and just told us to pick out a nice one.  So my mom and I picked out this really pretty orange stone, that glitters in the sun.  My little boy picked out the teddy bear that would go on the stone.   She loved teddy bears.  It was really pretty, and I know she would have liked it.

My Son's Birthday

My son's birthday was sad without my grandma.  She always looked forward to coming down to a bbq or pizza to celebrate my son's birthday.  She also loved the cake that I would make for him.  It was a family affair and always so much fun.

His birthday was a month and two days after my grandma passed away.  It was a somber event, and I felt so bad for my little man.  We had ordered pizza, and my mom had the table set.  It was sad when he asked where grandma was.  I had to remind him that she wasn't coming and he got super frustrated.  Even though he just turned eight, it was so hard on him to understand that she was here one day and then literally the next she was gone.

We got through dinner and when it was time for cake, my son was sad.  He always sat by grandma and would describe the scene on his cake for her.  It was always so cute to watch.  This year she wasn't there for him to describe his dinosaur cake.  He tried so hard to hold back his tears.

I told my son that we had a special present for him, and he got all excited.  I presented him from a gift that was from grandma.  He was confused, as she wasn't there.  I explained to him that during our last visit with her, we had discussed his birthday and she had asked me to pick it up for her.  So I picked up the Jurassic Park Trilogy for him from her.  He had tears in his eyes and said that he would always treasure the gift.  It truly was a bittersweet moment.

First Mother's Day

The first Mother's Day without my grandma was very hard, and emotional.  She died Thursday and Mother's Day was that Sunday, so she had only been gone for three days.  She always came down to my parents the day before and we would have a bbq and give her presents.  Then I would always call her the next day to wish her a happy Mother's Day.  It was a special routine, and for the first time in my life it was gone.  I just didn't know how to handle it and I spent most of the day in tears.

I called my mom first to wish her a Happy Mother's Day, and I couldn't get a hold of her.  I tried her cell phone and her home phone.  No one answered  I had a complete melt down and started to panic.  After a while I finally got a hold of her, and I was in tears. She felt bad, but she was on the phone with someone else.  It is so crazy how grief can do that to a person.

Out of habit I picked up my phone and I called my grandma as well.  The phone just rang and rang.  I was getting so mad that she wasn't answering.  I don't know what I really expected.  I knew she was gone, but there was this glimmer of hope that she would answer the phone and all would be right in my world.  She never answered the phone and I just ended up in tears.

It is hard to go through a holiday right after you have lost a loved one.  It just isn't the same, and you are in such a state of disbelief that you are not even sure you are awake or dreaming.

Loosing My Grandmother

It has been eleven months since I lost my beloved grandmother.  A days doesn't go by that I don't think of her, miss her and hope that this is all a nightmare that I am trapped in.  I can remember everything so clearly and it plain old sucks. 

May 10th, 2017, I had my last visit with my grandma.  I went up there to see her, we had pizza and talked.  She was excited that I had made a mixed berry pie for her.  Infact it was one of the first things that she had asked about when I got up there.  She was doing okay that day.  I had woken her up from a nap when I arrived.  She ended up taking another nap when I was there.  I can remember watching her sleeping in her chair, thinking that she was dying.  I shook that thought my head, as I figured I was just being paranoid.  After she woke up we continued our visit.  When I left she told me that she would see me on Saturday and was looking forward to a BBQ hamburger that my dad would be making.  I gave her a hug and she told me how much she loved me and my son.  I knew then and there I was never going to see her again, even though she told me that she would see me in a couple of days.  I hoped and prayed that I was wrong.  I can remember getting off of the free way exit for home and I broke down crying. 

When I got up on the 11th, I felt alright.  I was worried about my grandma and was going to call her in a bit.  I taught my son and stated making the cheese pie for our desert that we would be having on Saturday.  I felt no urgency and the thought of calling her was taken from my mind.  My older aunt couldn't get a hold of my grandma, so she called my mom.   After my mom got home from a doctors appointment, she tried to call my grandma and couldn't get an answer.  She told my dad she was going up there and she texted me the same thing.  I told her to keep me posted.  Well hours went by and I didn't hear anything, so I kept on texting my mom, and kept getting more and more worried and upset. 

Finally my mom answered and told me things were not okay.  I asked her if grandma needed to go the hospital and she wrote back that she needed to changed the locks.  It was in that moment that I completely lost it and screamed at God.  I knew my grandma was gone and I was so angry.  Surprisingly I didn't wake up my son or husband.  I just kept sobbing and sobbing.  I hurt so much, I had never felt pain like this.  My actual muscles and bones hurt.  It was a whole new experience for me and I hated it. 

My mom told me that she was on her way home and that she would be at my house in a bit.  I went and sat on my front porch, looking out at the stars, just praying that it wasn't true.  But I knew she was gone, I felt it and sucked so bad.  My mom finally got to my house and I fell into her arms sobbing.  She said that she had found my grandma on the floor and she looked so peaceful and happy.  My mom told me that her eyes were a crystal blue, and that she had been gone for a while.  We figured she must have died within a few minutes of hanging up the phone from my mom's youngest sister.  We talked for a bit and then my mom said she was going to go home. 

I came in and laid in bed.  I didn't really sleep, it was an empty black abyss.  My husbands alarm went off and as he was getting out of bed I told him what happened. Then my son got up and I told him we had to go to my mom's and he was all happy thinking that grandma was going to be there.  We got to my mom's and she told him about grandma and he started to cry.  It broke my heart.  Then the phone calls began, and everyone said they were on their way down.   My mom and I had to go back to my grandma's house to get the funeral papers.  It was a long drive up there, and I felt so empty.  I hated the feeling so bad. 

When we got to my grandma's house I was sobbing.  I walked in the door and she wasn't there in her chair waiting for me.  She wasn't anywhere and the sad part is my little boy asked where she was.  So I had to gently remind him that she wasn't there.  She was in heaven with grandpa.  Of course that got him going and stuff. 

The week that followed my grandma's death was empty.  I really didn't feel anything and when I would sleep it was nothing more than a black abyss.  I wrote a poem that I was reading at her funeral and I designed her funeral program cover.  She loved my photography and I found one of a sunrise over Lake Powell that I had taken the year before.  The day before her funeral, we had to stop off at the funeral home to deliver the balloon  my son and I had gotten for the funeral.  They had already brought my grandma up and asked if we wanted to see her.  My mom said yes, and so I went with her.  The one guy that worked there kept my son occupied by asking him Lego questions.  I fell apart seeing her in that coffin and I was so angry at her that she wasn't breathing.  We didn't stay long and went home. 

The day of the funeral came and it was snowing.  I thought it was very fitting for the day.  We arrived at the funeral home and went to the viewing.  Everyone had brought her Mother's Day cards and put them in her coffin with her and of course some goodies.  I was still upset at her for not waking up and taking a breath.  Just like my grandpa she wouldn't do it.  When it came time for the coffin to be closed it was horrible.  I lost it.  I tried not to watch but I couldn't help it, and hearing that click made me sob so hard.  The click of the coffin just signaled that it had truly happened and now there was no going back.  The funeral was nice and I was able to read my poem.  It was chilly at the graveyard, but we made it through it.  It was a nice funeral and it was very fitting for her.  I know that she is in a better place and that she was finally reunited with my grandpa after 14 years.  It must have been a truly glorious reunion.  Makes me wish that I could have seen it.