If I’m honest, I haven’t been having the best couple of days. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been hanging with friends and had a blast at the Rugby Sevens, but that’s all superficial really. It’s within me where the problems are.
I don’t think I mentioned it on this blog since the trip was underway, and I never mentioned it on the travel blog because it didn’t seem like an appropriate forum, but about two weeks into our adventuring I was told that my grandfather (paternal, only one I have left) had been diagnosed with liver cancer. They didn’t think he had much time.
Terrible news, at the best of times, even harder cause I wasn’t with my family. I couldn’t be there with them, couldn’t reason it out. I debated whether or not I should go to South Africa to see him, but after talking it out with R and my mum, it was thought that it was better to wait and see how things went. Of course, I had just been to South Africa in January and had made the active decision not to see my father’s family…because they live really out of the way and always cause drama and I’ve never felt quite as at home with them as with mum’s family. Will I live to regret this decision for the rest of my life? Yes, I think I will.
You see, it was hard enough the last time I saw them - at my maternal granddad’s funeral, an absolute emotional quagmire that I frankly still haven’t dealt with. Back then, my grandma already didn’t know who I was and I couldn’t see myself visiting them in January and dealing with that. As it turns out, I’m not good with dealing with death. Not at all. What I am good at is suppressing my own emotions because I don’t know what to do with them, and instead taking on everyone else’s burdens instead. I excel at that. Just the other night mum told me that I couldn’t carry everyone else’s burdens for them…but it’s all I know how to do. So.
Oh, I’ve gone off course and the story is all muddled. Last week, granddad was admitted to the hospital. He is in a bad way. Very bad, really. Dad flew out on Tuesday and when I just spoke to him a couple of hours ago, he said they had a bad scare earlier where they didn’t think he’d make it through the night. Dad is of course shattered, though he won’t admit it, and I am absolutely furious at him for going over there alone and at mum for letting him come to that decision when we all know how absolutely fragile he is with these things. And I am absolutely furious with dad’s family for making mum feel like she’s not welcome at this time, like she’s not important enough to be part of the decisions or the whole process, because they have no fucking right to make her feel like that. And that she would say to me that there’s no point in either me or her going because we’re not wanted there? It makes me livid. Infuriated. We have just as much right as his children do, we have been part of his life, he’s important to us too.
And I just can’t fucking deal with this. I can’t. I’ve realised I completely cannot deal with death. And the thought that I have to go through this again when I haven’t even begin to come to grips with the last time? I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to express what I’m feeling or how to put any of it into words properly. And the sad reality, after he passes, I’ll have to go through it again…and again…and again.
And it’s stupid, because obviously I know that’s how life works. And I’m not new to death, but I guess it’s never been people I actually cared about before. Or it was when I was too young to fully understand. I’ve always been close to my grandparents, both sets. On my mum’s side, I was the youngest grandchild for a long time, and on my father’s side I was the only girl. I’d say I was my maternal granddad’s favourite. And there are certain things I can’t even think about for fear of coming apart. Which is partly I guess why I’m so obsessed lately with going on safari, or why I like to go to rugby games as much as I can…I guess some part of me feels like he’s still here in those moments. And I really never dealt with the fact that he’s gone, not really, because others needed me so much more at the time and I just wouldn’t allow myself to even think about it. I think that’s about the size of it.
And now I can’t avoid thinking about it. And I’m going to lose my other granddad too, and my grandmother…the one who I used to crawl into bed with as a toddler and who would tell me stories and sing me songs and knit me jumpers and bake all my favourite cakes, she doesn’t even know who I am. And I know, I know, I’ve been very lucky in that I have had both sets of grandparents for as long as I have, not to mention still having my great grandmother as well, but that doesn’t make it any easier. It’s just not fair…and isn’t that just the most pathetic, naïve, petulant and predictable thing anyone can say in this situation? I’m so disgusted with myself.
I just don’t know what to do. I honestly don’t. I’m supposed to skype with granddad tomorrow night and I don’t know how I’m going to manage it. There’s so much I still wanted to talk about, with all of them, so much I wanted them to know. I wanted them to be proud of me, I wanted them to see that all the faith they always had in me wasn’t wasted. And I haven’t done it in time. I haven’t done anything. And now I have these gaping holes in my life where they always were, even if I didn’t really speak to them as much as I should have, I knew they cared and were always interested and were just part of what made me…well, the person I am I guess. Even if that person turns out to be someone woefully inadequate in dealing with her own grief.
I'm just really, incredibly sad. And now my tea's gone cold cause I've been so busy crying writing this. What am I to do with myself?
Music: Blaring car alarm and the throbbing of my head