Today is my grandfather’s birthday (he would have been 98). Two years ago this past July we buried him. Today is also the two year mark of my grandmother’s funeral. That means that yes, 2012 was a lovely, wonderful year for my family, and why bury one grandparent when you can bury two in one year? I find this especially bittersweet, both that we buried her on his birthday, when she so very much did not want to live once he’d died, and also that now, NOW, there’s no way in hell I’m going to ever forget his birthday again. For the entirety of my adult life with him in it I could never seem to remember: the 8th or the 10th of December? (Funny, Gippy — I see what you did there.)
I frequently see something of value in poking at the grief, grieving, and interacting with the dead process that I have, because I ?enjoy? rooting out the influences of society in what this looks like for me. I do not share this idea that once the dead have died that they are gone, that they necessarily move on and away and that’s it. My interactions with the dead, in the few times that validation has come my way regarding the messages I’ve passed on, has been such that between that and my own instinct, I’m rather firm on the idea that the veil between the living and the dead is not an iron curtain. The part of my path than entails service to the dead does not encompass — generally — passing on messages, and it has never happened outside of my extended tribe, and it’s generally Made Known that that’s not something I’m comfortable doing . . . but exceptions have been made.
The first year following their passing was bad. Not Angel died and I went a little crazy bad, but a constant, dark, black, hopeless, steady sort of bad. I’m still not entirely sure what changed, but I place that change at my grandmother’s hands. I never thought my ancestor house was out of order, but things are certainly tidier now, and there are a number of things I needed to let go of that became easy to release. I do not carry forward the same sense of joie de virve that I believe they each carried forward, but certainly I’ve gotten better.
And still, I miss being able to call them up on the phone, or writing to them and getting letters in response. I miss their physicality. I miss their being alive.
It feels like forever, and I can’t believe it’s been two years already since we buried my grandmother next to my grandfather on his birthday.