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Jennifer E. Thomas
j3nny3lf
...... .:::.:.:


Waterfalls
It's almost like there are these periods where our relationship is smooth and steady, and then there are times when it's like standing on the edge of this gorgeous, wonderful waterfall and just letting yourself drop, knowing that there's a safe pool of water ready to catch you at bottom. You take the plunge and you're in wayyyy over your head, but oh man, it's exhilarating, it's breathtaking, it's just incredible and you feel better than you ever have before and the water is cool and refreshing and exactly what you needed.

Sam is my waterfall.

- LJ entry from 8/2005





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June 2017
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Jennifer E. Thomas [userpic]
Loss and guilt

So my friend Paula died yesterday morning. And I've been going through some major changes about this today.

I've been overwhelmed with grief, almost cripplingly so. I'm doing fine, and then all of a sudden, I'm sobbing over the loss of my friend. And this was filling me with incredible amounts of guilt.

Why guilt?

Last November, my grandmother, Irene Reiser, died. She was almost 94 years old, and suffering dementia to the degree that talking to her on the phone was pretty useless. She lived in Boston, and I'm in Texas. The last time I saw her was in 2001, and I knew at that time that it would probably be the last time I ever saw her.

But this was a woman who helped raise me. I spent so much time at her house that I considered it another home. She loved me unconditionally and without reservation, and I returned her love with everything I had in me.

Yet I feel more grief over losing Paula, a woman I'd only met face to face once, than I did over losing Grammy. And thus the guilt.

Until Sam put it all in perspective for me.

I knew Grammy's time was almost over. She was very old, had lived a very full life, and for the last year or so of her life, I was expecting the phone call any day. I had time to prepare, and really, did a lot of my grieving during that time, during the time that I would call her and have to sometimes remind her that I lived in Texas now, that I was no longer married to Koji, and that sort of thing.

Paula's death was very sudden and very unexpected. One day so alive, so vibrant, so THERE, and then suddenly... gone. And that's a shock to the system of anybody who loved a person who has died. There's no warning, no nothing, just a post on Facebook and LiveJournal and the end of a life.

So the guilt is gone. Of course I loved my Grammy, and just because my grief for Paula is so profound, that doesn't make me a bad granddaughter.

Thank God for a husband who can put things into perspective for me. May we have the forty years Paula and Bill had, and may they be as rich and full of love as their years were.

And I hope that Paula and Grammy are sharing a laugh together up in heaven, and discovering a kindred spirit in each other.

Borderline symptom of the day: sadgrieving
Comments

Ah, sympathies.

I am so sorry to read of your sorrows, but especially sorry to read of the loss of your friend.
*hug*

Adding to what Sam has said, I think in this case it's also magnified by the number of other people we know who have been hit so hard by this. I didn't know her, but she had such an effect on so very many people, something like ripples and waves in a pond, intersecting, amplifying...

Glinda, that's a good point, everywhere I look, people are grieving.

*hugs*

I was feeling, I don't know, maybe guilty? that this hit me so hard when I didn't even know her - but I do know how much she meant to many people. And sometimes the grieving is for many things that'd been in the background, and one more loss just tips us over.