So, here we are. Halloween again.
I have kids, so obviously, I have a lot going on every Halloween. But, if I'm being completely honest, I'd like to sleep through the entire fucking day, and night.
10 years ago, on Halloween night, my world changed forever. The ground was swept out from under me, and nothing has been the same since. Last year, I shared the story of the events that played out on Halloween night, so I'm not going to tell that story again. I'm just going to lay some word vomit on you all, mainly because it helps me to cope, and also because....well, I do what I want.
My Grandma Sharon was one of my favourite people in the world. She was warm, she was caring, and she gave absolutely zero fucks about what anyone else thought about her. She was my babysitter, she was my Grandmother, she was my friend. As a child, I don't think we truly grasp just how precious our people are to us. We don't understand that someday they will be gone, and we will wish we asked them all the things we just can't ask them now. Like, my Grandma's lasagna recipe. What is it? I have no idea. And as a child of 13, watching a roomful of grown men devour a huge roasting pan of lasagna, I had no idea how much I would long to know that recipe as an adult. Although, my mom's recipe is pretty kick ass.
I wonder what my Grandma was like as a child. That's another thing. When you are a kid, these things aren't important to you. But, it seemed like, the second she was gone....I wanted to know everything. I wish I had really talked to her, like an adult. Sometimes I do talk to her, and I swear I can hear her voice, and I know exactly what she'd say to me in most situations. But, it's just not enough. She's gone, and it still sucks.
My kids. It kills me, like literally tears my heart to shreds to know that she wasn't around to see my kids. And, I guess depending on what you believe in, you might say "Well, she sees them now. She's so proud!" And that is a perfectly acceptable opinion to have on the subject. Truth is, I don't really know what I believe. I mean, I like to believe that she is in Heaven, with all of the people that left before her, and have left since. Thinking like that makes my heat happy, to know that they're not alone, and she can see the life that I've made for myself, and my beautiful kids. And, it really makes me happy to think that someday, I will be with her, able to hug her, and talk to her, and talk, and talk, and talk. But, I don't know if that's what happens. Maybe you die, and that's it. You rot in the cold, cold ground forever and ever. Which, I guess won't matter once you're dead.
Thinking about my Grandma makes me smile, every time. But, it also takes the breath from my lungs, and makes me sob. And I'm not talking about softly sobbing into your pillow, I mean full on, gut wrenching, body wracking sobs. The kind that drain you of all of your energy, and make you think that you will dehydrate from all the crying. There is just no way for me to think of her, whether it's a good memory, or a sad one, without sobbing uncontrollably. 10 years later, and I still feel the same way I did back then. Grief really never leaves you. You pretty much just carry it around forever. It doesn't get easier living without a loved one, you just learn a better way to manage your pain.
Sometimes I think about how different things would have been, if Grandma hadn't passed away. Maybe things wouldn't be different at all? Maybe they would be exactly the same, except she'd be here? Obviously, I'll never know, but I do think about it a lot. I play a lot of different scenarios in my head when it comes to loved ones that have passed away (I'm not crazy, I swear!) As painful as it is, one thing that is sure to calm me down, and make me feel peaceful, is to think about people that I've lost. It's sad, and it's hard, but thinking about them and the impact they've had on my life, lifts my spirits. Blah! I told you thins would be word vomit.
My Grandma was so fun to be around. She made us all laugh constantly. And she had the best laugh. I miss it. She also said the most inappropriate things at times. But, that always made me laugh, too. Must be where I get it from. ;) I remember after I had broken up with my first serious boyfriend, I was trying to give her reasons that she thought were good enough as to why we broke up. I started first with the long distance, which she just assured me didn't matter if we loved each other, I then went on to my age (16) Well, age is only a number, you are old enough to know if you're in love. So then, I told her, we just didn't have any chemistry. OMG. Seriously, talking to my Grandmother about physical attraction, and chemistry. And then she said "Well, I thought he was sexy!" I died. What?! I fell onto the floor laughing, all the while with my Grandma saying over and over "Yes. He is sexy!" I still to this day, have no idea if she was being serious or not. But that is one of my best memories of her. Another time, my Grandma, my brother and I were in my mom's car waiting for her to come out of the grocery store, and a very old man walked past the car. My Grandma watched him walk by, and said under her breath "Lordy, Lordy, look who's past 40" My brother and I couldn't breathe we were laughing so hard, and we still laugh just as hard when we think about it now.
I love the good memories, because there are enough of them to push back the bad ones. The day I found out she was gone, going to her house to pick out something for her to be buried in, seeing how lost my Papa was. Then, seeing her for the last time. I know a lot of people say that their family member didn't look like themselves at the funeral. This wasn't the case with my Grandma. She looked just like she had when I had seen her a week earlier at my birthday party. She just looked like she was sleeping, so peaceful. She looked so much like herself that I held her hand. I had never ever considered holding a dead person's hand before, the idea completely freaked me out at my Great Grandpa's funeral when I saw my Great Grandma holding his hand. I kept thinking, who does that? That is beyond weird. But, in that moment, when I saw her, I couldn't not hold her hand. I just needed to. It wasn't weird, or strange at all.
But, by far the worst memory? Leaving the cemetery. It was cold, and raining, and there she was. All alone. It was like I was leaving a piece of myself there with her. Nothing about that moment felt right.
Every Halloween since that horrible one, 10 years ago, has been somewhat forced on my part. And now that I have kids, I have to put on a happy face, and do the Halloween thing for my kids. And I do. I do because I love them, I do because even though I would rather be at home in bed, sleeping until November 1st, Halloween makes them happy. I do because seeing them happy makes me happy, and most of all, I do because I can hear my Grandma's voice in my head saying "For Christ's sake, Tricia! This isn't about you! Get your ass out there, and get my Grandkids some candy!"
See, I told you inappropriate!