I Am Not Ready: Part 1

Dear Reader,

On the day my mum visited the doctor just a few hours after me. I was scared. When she returned I quickly realised he hadn’t said anything (obvious I guess) but, what I suddenly felt was a lot worse.

She was saying how nice the doctor had been, how he had told her she needed to grieve and talk and that it was good for her. The problem is talking isn’t how I grieve but my mother doesn’t understand that people react to things differently to her.

I’m sure she thinks I don’t care, or care a lot less than she does because I am not constantly talking about it, or frequently bursting into tears. But because I don’t do this am I hampering her grieving by not being able to talk?

I get my feelings out better in the written form. And this is really a blessing for me because until very recently I had no way of describing my feelings at all and it made things very hard for me.

I wrote something about my grandma the night she died, it was for me more than anything because I wanted to write out some of the raw emotion I felt at the time because I think when I am being raw and brutal I write my best pieces. I am not a writer in the sense that I could write anything. I am only a writer in the sense that I can express my own personal feelings.

Here is what I wrote: (screenshotted for ease)

Grandma

I wrote this for me like I said because it was how I felt. But after a week of seeing nothing about my grandma’s death on Facebook I felt slightly sad, I have a large family and almost all of my 9 cousins on there. She was an important part of my life and I hadn’t spoken about her this way (out loud) before. So I posted it on Facebook.

I got an incredibly positive response, my cousins commenting and sharing the post, friends commenting and offering their condolences, some just liked the post. by the next day I had almost 30 likes of the post. I rarely ever post anything on Facebook, the last time I posted was when I graduated two years ago. and prior to that when I started university. So it was amazing to see my post get noticed, especially when I am used to looking at my news feel full of posts with one or two likes.

But I have my mums sister on Facebook, and I know she would eventually see it. (my mum doesn’t use Facebook) whilst visiting my dad’s mum on the Sunday I received a text from my mum “Just read what you wrote about grandma on Facebook. It’s lovely.”

It still shocks me to see people’s reactions to my writing, my mum always seems astounded by anything I write “you should write a book” she says. Of course, its a parents job to make your skills seem far more sensational than they are.

I returned home and was off to visit my granddad (my mum was already there) two of my aunts and uncles were there and my cousin. As I walked through the door they were talking about what I wrote. “we read what you wrote, its so nice.” “you made us all cry” I didn’t really know how to react. I looked at the ground and just said thank you. Even my grandad said “It was very nice what you wrote, could I have a copy please” So I printed it off for him, and then I printed it for my mother and my aunt. And the more I printed and looked at what I wrote the more uncomfortable I felt. This was for me! this wasn’t for everyone, but my aunt’s reaction of “thank you for putting into words how we all feel about grandma! Beautiful xxxxxx” made me feel bad for thinking that way. I just wanted to get my own feelings out.

I had been avoiding Facebook for fear of more reactions to the piece, I couldn’t delete it now so many had seen it.

Then I had to make up the order of service book for the funeral service, as I wrote 4 pages and showed my mum for reassurance she said “Is there enough room on the back to put what you wrote about grandma?” I instantly said “No, I don’t want it there.” She asked why but I didn’t say anything. It was for me, not my family, not people I have never met.

But I feel selfish, for writing words and acting like they belong to me. acting like the feelings I feel are mine only when really my entire family feels that way but most of them get their feelings out by speaking.

My mum asked if I would speak at the funeral. I want to, I really do. But I don’t think I could do it justice. The pressure of writing something so meaningful and important is all too much for me. She doesn’t really understand that. Why would it be hard? I have already written something about my grandma. But the point is there was no pressure then. This was written for me. This wasn’t being written for anyone to see or here.

As Always,

The Elephant in the Room

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4 thoughts on “I Am Not Ready: Part 1

  1. I don’t think you should feel selfish about not wanting your words on the funeral order of service. They are your feelings put into writing. If you want to share them that’s fine but if you don’t then that is fine too.

    These are your memories and feelings and I can understand why you don’t want to share them with people you don’t know. They are after all deeply personal.

    I too started my blog as a means of coping with my depression and it has made such a difference to my life as it has developed. I have a few deeply personal posts sitting in draft form. They have been that way for quite some time now. I doubt that I will ever share them.

    I am sure your family will understand why you don’t want to share something so personal. If you really want to speak at the funeral why don’t you take a part of your writing and build on it to tell people how much you loved and admired your Grandma. you could then read it at the service.

    Perhaps that would help to meet everyone’s needs at such a sad time?

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  2. That’s a lovely post you wrote; it gave me a reaction. I didn’t know whither I wanted to cry or not. But to be honest, I smiled. I smiled about the thoughts and feelings you cared about your grandmother. It reminded me of the poem I wrote for my Nan when she passed away nearly three years ago.
    When I read this post and you wrote about how much it meant to you and everyone in your family said that it was lovely, I thought what you had written was not only inspirational but extremely touching. Words are powerful than actions and writing something about feelings and emotions can bring change within yourself, whither you are calming down from an argument or writing about something that has upset you during the day.
    Some things can be personal, only if the person wishes it too. Not many people are lucky to be in this position but when you live in the world where there is no pressure, only that person can choose what they want to do.
    I’m keeping you in my prayers today during this difficult time.

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  3. I, too, express my feelings much more easily through my writing, even when I didn’t know that’s what I was going to write before I started. My grandmother died when I was only 15, and so, 40 years ago, I didn’t even have the opportunity to write, or to know how much it would help me.

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