However, instead of being 100% focused on my grandmother in her time of need like I should have been, I was distracted by so many other issues while simultaneously feeling terrible about being distracted.
One thing that just knocked me off center was that neighbors and strangers alike were showing up with support in droves. Some even brought food. Casseroles, chicken, bean dip – you name it, the food was showing up. My grandmother isn’t going to have to cook for weeks. But in the days after Maggie died, no one brought me food. At least I don't remember anyone bringing me food. In fact, after the first few days, it seemed like everyone disappeared on me. I still don’t understand that and it still hurts.
Another thing that kicked me in the stomach were the reminders of stupid stuff that people say when death happens:
“He’s in a better place.” - Yeah, well maybe he liked where he was with my grandmother a whole lot. I know Maggie was pretty darn happy about us being together. She also liked our big plans. WE liked our big plans. Better place now? It’s hard to believe.
“He’s not suffering any more.” - How do you know? Maybe death sucks and it hurts a lot. I know for Maggie it certainly hurt a lot getting to that point. Maybe it gets worse.
“Everything happens according to ‘God’s Plan’” - Oh man, this is always a tough one. So God’s “plan” was for my grandfather to lose his hard-earned lifetime of memories and control of his body while my 90 year old grandmother struggled to feed, bathe and dress her loving husband as he faded farther into oblivion? Or God’s “plan” was that my wonderful wife died just when her life was starting to really blossom but not before she suffered miserably while I watched? This is a plan?!?!
And I could go on…. (I think we all have a list of these little sayings.)
Finally, why wasn't Maggie mentioned in his obituary? Yes, I know the obituary is supposed to be about him but, damn it, all the other living in laws were mentioned. Where was my sweetheart? Does she not count anymore because she died? As someone who is particularly protective of her legacy, this stinks.
I feel terrible for thinking all these thoughts. His death and celebration of his life is not about me or my sweet wife and it shouldn't be twisted to be made so. I want to be strong, to be a rock for my grandmother. I want to exemplify what my grandfather taught me: integrity, honor, and respect. Instead, while facing the final stages of a life both long and well lived, I feel weak, selfish and angry. I feel like I've failed both my grandfather and my grandmother.
I try to always close out each of my posts with a bend toward the positive but I’m struggling with this one. Death sucks, even when it can be seen as a “release.” I don’t miss my grandfather any less because he was “released.” I don’t miss Maggie any less because she was “released.” Right now, I’m just angry about both losses, about how people have no clue and how I’m helpless to change anything. I think sometimes some things just suck. Is it ok just to sit with that for a while?