After my Grandmother’s casket was lowered into the earth, my Sister and I sat in the car outside of her gravesite with our lives on pause.
It just didn’t feel right to leave her there. The honest truth was, it had all felt like a dream and we were both just hoping that we would wake up soon. As the time passed and we awaited a relief that would never come, I could feel her spirit begging us to depart.
We had fallen to our knees as her casket fell beneath us only moments ago. Everyone had began leaving but my sister and I were too weak to walk away from the hole in the earth where our Grandmothers limbs were scheduled to rest for eternity. Hanging on to each other the way we did as children, we released the weariness of our souls. I had never felt closer to anyone. A strange man approached us as we sat beside the sanctity of her final destination “the first step to healing is walking away” he said.
It’s been 4 years. 4 years since we walked away.
4 years since my Grandmothers lungs took their last gasp of oxygen in. 4 years since the sound of my Grandmothers heartbeat echoed through her chest for the final time. 4 years since her body lost all of the warmth that made her an earthly being and decided to turn cold.
I can’t believe how fast the time flies. It feels like just yesterday I was running up those steps to her yellow house anticipating her embrace and a kiss to my forehead that always reminded me that everything was alright.
4 years and it has not gotten any easier. The pain still sits in the center of my chest cavity making me feel like I could become a pool of grief at any second. Everyone tells me I should just get over it... That it is all okay. That I should not be grieving the loss of a woman who lived a full life. But how do you just go on living when someone who was your whole world has stopped?
The loneliness I feel without her is infinite. I am unsure if I will ever be that same jovial girl that I was again.
I'm not sure if I took a step towards healing when I walked away. I'm not sure that a wound like this one ever heals... I'm not sure if healing is definitive. I am not sure about much anymore.
Sometimes I question if it all really happened or if I just imagined everything.
And then I remember that this pain I feel is just proof that she lived. And even now although she is no longer with me physically, I can feel her everywhere. In every tear, in every gust of wind, in every rumbling laugh.
Maybe that old man who whispered a sweet sentiment to help us stop adding to our own dizzying trauma just meant that the only way to deal with grief is to allow time to pass... I do not know if he was right or wrong. I do not know if eventually the thought of death will be a bit easier.
But I do know its been 4 years, and yet I still feel broken.
If the only way to heal is through time, I'm afraid I'll need forever.