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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Still in process with Grandma...

I am still trying to process my Grandma's passing. At the last minute, I changed what was to be read at her service, so I thought that I would share it here.  Please, forgive me for my repetition. The following is what I wrote and was the final version of what was read at the service:

Grandma,

I don’t even want to write this letter because I never wanted to say “goodbye.” But, I need to say, “goodbye.” Somewhere in my head grandparents never go away, but that is in my head like some of your “crazy” thoughts were. I imagine your bony strong fist hitting me now. I know that you didn’t go away and leave me, but that is how I feel. I really am happy that you didn’t suffer much and angry that you had to at all. I didn’t want you to die and am having a really difficult time acknowledging that I don’t have you to visit or call anymore…or tease. You were not supposed to leave…ever.

(I have know idea who the people on the left are, but this is a tribute to my grandma, so this is quite fitting.  She would purchase picture frames and leave the original picture in it and everyone would ask who is that...LOL!!)

I don’t think that I would ever been ready for you to leave me. I know that we didn’t express it directly often, but we did continually express our love for each other. I know that you loved me and I hope that you know how much I loved you.

I’m sorry that my health prevented me from seeing you more during this last year and especially on the last day that you were talking and joking. I really wished I could have been a part of the “fresh hamburger” event. But, I love hearing it and telling it. I am glad that you were able to recognize and say, “hello” to both Adrian and I. I’m glad that I was able to hold your hands and let you “kill” them while I “head butted” you when you were in pain. *BONK* For me, that physical closeness was such a gift. I just wish that I could have felt your skin more, for you not be in pain and for you to be able to tell me “leave you alone or shut up!” I hate remembering the pain you were in…even in dying you were super strong…ouch!!

I keep remembering the last time that I saw you was in the hospital. I kept telling myself that I wasn’t going to see you due to my health risks, but when I got the telephone call at 3:15 AM telling me that you were not going to make it…All I started to think of was that I needed to say “goodbye” to you and be with family. Again, you brought the family together. We all love you. I love you. I can hear you saying something funny about the time it took to get to you, that I actually took time to wash my hair and about the mask and gloves that I had to wear. I can hear you make funny sounds and faces about them.

I miss you and some of the normal everyday things like going grocery shopping, recreational shopping, going shopping for some gift, purposeful shopping and more shopping. I know that it wasn’t about shopping, but I do know that when you were younger that I would get tired before you. I think that everyone got tired before you. Going to the market with you seemed like an all day event to me as a child. It seemed like you knew everyone in the neighborhood and just HAD to talk with everyone.

Oh boy, did you have a sweet tooth and could eat despite what others saw later. I liked getting money from you for the ice cream truck…but the truth is that you wanted one too! When Halloween came, you would purchase extra candy and stash it away. Well, I’m sure you knew that most of us knew and that we “stole” some and that you probably purchased extra for yourself. The boxes of See’s candy that came to your house were different…they all had holes on the undersides. I guess that is just the way they were made.

I’m so blessed that I have very young memories of you and living with you like going to the market, mall, pharmacy, optometrist, post office, etc…normal everyday activities and you were always friendly. Although it bothered my sinuses, I miss the smell of your make up, your bedding and clothing. I remember bouncing into bed between you and Grandpa and just chattering away with the both or you. I remember holding your hand feeling like my life depended on it…everyone was so big!! Even though, I don’t have a specific last memory of you not being in the hospital, I have a wonderful sense that when I was young you protected me, made me feel safe and secure…your sweet treats which you actually wanted were always nice too. I enjoyed helping and eating dinner with you and everyone else.

You have to admit that you we’re a bit obsessed about vacuuming as you vacuumed twice per day because of the dog hair and even tried to vacuum the dog. Even when you broke your leg and it was in a cast you tried to vacuum. You sat in one chair and your broken leg was on other while you tried to move around with the two castered chairs vacuuming. You were always a silly woman and the whole family has inherited that...Silliness will live on.

You were always a good sport and willing to play all the children’s games with me. One of the most memorable times was when you played the board game “Beat the Clock” which was based on the television show. I’ll never forget you sitting, and then grabbing your ankles and had to walk in a large circle to beat the clock. I think it was called a duck walk. We were all laughing. You did really well because you didn’t tip over even while laughing. But, then again you were really strong. At one Thanksgiving, there was a pull up bar for doing chin ups and no one not even the adult men could do one, but you showed them you did three!!! You weren’t a woman to be messed with.

You always had this thing about curling her toes all the time which we dubbed the “Adachi curl.” You were even doing it in the hospital bed. I didn’t know that was strange until I was married as everyone in the family always did that. The spouses probably all thought that it was strange including using our feet to pick up things. That is from your side of the family and will carry on.

One of my favorite memories of you was at one of the Bingo family reunions. Down this long hallway, auntie Tetsuko and you saw each other. Immediately, you both assumed a pseudo-sumo pose and “tough” faces and made your way down the hallway to greet each other. When you were close enough you hit one another and laughed then hugged and kissed each other. I was laughing so hard that it made my stomach hurt. Oh, there are so many memories with you that that are warming or make me smile. I already long to hear you talk, repeating me over and over, laughing, making faces and just being around and just to touch you.

My memories and how you helped to raise me are wonderful hugs from you or a hit on the arm, both convey the same thing. It really brings a smile to my face and warmth to imagine you and Grandpa seeing each other again. I hope you didn’t hit him hard enough or make him laugh enough to fall off his cloud. I’ll continually receive hugs from both of you via the fleece jackets, I finally “stole” from you. I really miss you and Grandpa. But, today is “Goodbye, Grandma…I love you and miss you so much that I hurt to my core.” I love you and always will…Coleen

2 comments:

Jude said...

I'm very sorry for your loss and pain and hope you have family support to see you through...Jude

Clueless said...

Thank you Jude...I'm working through the process with a therapist which has been very helpful.

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