March 06, 2015

I Miss You and You're Not Even Gone

For the past month or so, I've been experiencing the strangest thing: at random times and without warning, I'll be struck with a feeling that has nothing to do with the situation I'm in.

For example, I'll be walking to the subway or watching Grey's Anatomy on my couch when suddenly, I'll be hit with a completely unjustified feeling of hopeless sadness and (very much unnecessary) fear. I tried to think of a less dramatic word to describe the feeling but the best I can come up with is "doom."

And doom is not something one normally finds on one's couch.

The feeling usually goes away pretty quickly and it doesn't happen that often, but it's been happening enough that it made me wonder what is going on. Multiple personality disorder? Sudden onset schizophrenia? Good lord, was this one of those "Brain on Fire" situations?

Last night in bed, I finally figured out where these feelings are coming from: these feelings started around the same time as Pop's funeral.

If you've been reading for a while, you know that my grandfather was the first person I've lost with whom I was very close. Pop was a constant in my life, always there during the holidays and the big moments and even the small moments. He was just always there. And then, suddenly, he wasn't.

Losing him was (and still is) hard. Seeing my family's pain was (and still is) probably even harder. Seeing my grandmother, who was married to Pop for 58 years, cry at Pop's funeral was heartbreaking because it made me imagine what it's like to lose someone who holds so much of you.

And I'll tell you: it's absolutely terrifying.

Pop held a large part of my heart but I have people in my life who hold parts just as big, if not bigger. I have two parents who've given me a safe and loving home, two siblings who I wouldn't think twice about taking a bullet for, and a boyfriend who makes me frequently wonder, what's the catch? How did I get someone so good?

I've always known that one day, I will eventually lose them. That's just life. But it wasn't until Pop died that I felt and saw what that actually meant.

And it is excruciating and unthinkable and awful in every sense of the word. To be honest, I'm not even sure I can handle it. I truly don't know if I'm that strong.

Now, I know this is no way to go around living life; I can't spend my time being sad about things that might still be years and years away. And that's exactly why I actively try not to think about it. But since Pop's funeral, when my mind is wandering on the subway or turning to mush in front of cable television, when I'm just letting it go wherever it wants to go... evidently, it's going to fear and sadness and doom.

I don't know if this is normal or if it's a phase or if I'm just making up my own new stages of grief, but I'm looking forward to it going away.

Because Dr. Seuss said not to cry because it's over but smile because it happened, but he didn't say what to do when you're crying while it's happening. How do you deal with missing someone who isn't even gone?

And on that morbidly depressing note, I'm out. My sister is visiting this weekend and I've got to narrow down my brunching itinerary.

And if I know one thing,it's that there's no amount of doom that I buttermilk biscuit can't fix.