Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I Wish That They Knew

It's hard to keep the waves of grief at bay. I wondered why I seemed more sad when my uncle died in October last year than when my grandfather died just last month. But it's not really true. It just comes in different ways.

The last time I lost someone I loved to death I was in college. He was my best friend and he was murdered. Grief then was orderly and by the book. A wale of tears, an hilarious wake full of friends and love and gratefulness just to have known him, a funeral that honored what he was in his life; and then the sadness faded like red fades to pink in the sunshine over time. I still have, amongst my own, a t-shirt he loved and wore so often that by the time I got it it was already threadbare. His mother gave it to me and it was as if she had given me his most valuable thing in the world. I wear it sometimes when I think of him.

But somehow with my own family members it has been a more sporatic and surprising process. I never know what thought will make me laugh or make me cry. I think of my grandparents as people in a place as much as people I love. Somehow I mourn to them not being in 'thier place' any longer, though there was no particular love for the place itself. It only holds power because they inhabit it.

And I have more regrets. My love for my friend was whole hearted and in the moment. It felt GOOD. We could hug and kiss and fight and laugh at and with each other. There were no complications. And so there were no regrets.

There are 'things' that I regret with my grandfather and my uncle. I regret I never sent my uncle dates from Shields as he asked and I promised I would. Even after he sent me an email telling me he was ready to eat again, I still did not send them. That is the ugly part of me. The part that is scared and stingy and only looking out for myself.

I regret I never wrote my grandfather a letter. Just to him. I wrote many letters, addressed to them both or to my grandma and I sent many emails to my grandpa. But to send a letter, handwritten, is to say in a way "you are worthy of my time" that no other modern gesture can duplicate.

I spent a moment feeling it unfair that death should have come to them and so close together. But it is not the unfairness of their death that stings, but the unfairness of what I did not get from their lives. It is what I did not take from them, did not impose on them comfortable for them or not that I regret. It is the unbridled enthusiasm that I felt for my love for my friend that I wish I would have imposed on them both. I wish I were the little girl and could hurl myself at them each, bodily hugging and holding them and telling them with every inch of myself how glad I am they are in the world. I will have to do it now only in spirit... as long as they know.


demondoll said...

I still think of him almost every day. Something will happen, and it's just a moment of...

I think he just had a way, he was so easy to love.

Yella said...

You're right. That is it exactly, he was easy to love. Some people are hard but you do anyway... it just seems that everytime you choose to love someone there is some challange that comes along with it!

demondoll said...

Well, one is stuck with family. And mine is stuck w/ me (bwahahaha). But as friendships deepen past the honeymoon "isn't he/she fab?" phase people just have a knack for making you love them more.