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My Poppa...

My Grandfather, Poppa, the man who always sang to his dogs, took me to the "Land Before Time", loved me unconditionally, took me to the store when I had pink hair and wore the most horrible teenage angst filled clothes ever... he passed away yesterday morning. Yes, his health was relatively poor, but we didn't expect it. It was sudden. It was horrible. It was heart wrenching.

My poor mother could do nothing but cry and stare into space. She tried to be strong, she tried to be there for her mom, and she did as good a job as she could. But, I only got around 20 minutes to really hold her and let her cry... let go like I wanted to do. I then realized that as much as she loved me and needed me... she didn't. She needed my Dad and her Mom. Most of all, she needed HER Dad, and he wasn't there. I wanted to fix it. I wanted to go back in time and bring him back. I wanted to tell them all the wonderful things he always said about them to me when no one else was around. But, it never felt right.

Instead of feeling like a family surrounding each other in love, things felt like a discombobulated mess. And, I was left alone, trying to push myself in there somehow to say, "I know he's your Dad. I know he's your husband, but I loved this man just as much as you guys did. I loved this man so much that I dreamt about him all the time. I love this man so much that I'm hurting right now in ways I never thought possible. Do you realize I've never lost someone I love this much? Can someone love me? My someone is in another state and can't hug me. Someone hold me. Someone let me cry". I felt like that was selfish.

My sister in law, Chelsea... I am so grateful for her yesterday. She did the things I couldn't bring myself to do. She hugged me. She was the one there for me. My little brother... he held my hand while I cried. He checked on me everytime I went missing. He loves me so much. They were my rocks. I love them so fucking much that it hurts for me to think they're in pain, too.

I wanted to hug my Uncle and Mom and Grandmama all at once and cry with them. I wanted to tell them, "I love him, too. I love you, too. I wish I could take all your pain and put it on me so you can handle this pain free. I wish I could make every decision for you and make it just right so you don't have to do anything but mourn". But, I can't do that. I'm still a 10 year old in their eyes. And, honestly, as much as I am a part of the family... I was not a part of the family yesterday.

My Daddy... without him, I don't know what my Mom would do. I don't know what I would do. He stepped up and answered almost every phone call, spoke to the funeral home, put in his opinion without being pushy... he was amazing.

I just sat there like a bump on a log. And, everyone looked at me condescending when I tried to say something, as if to say, "What does it matter? You're just his granddaughter?". Except my Mom... she wouldn't look at me at all.

I haven't stopped crying since I left. When I drove home last night at around 10 PM, I screamed. I cried as loud as possible. I blared Ben Folds Five in the hopes that it would help drown out my pleas that felt stupid, but I needed to say it.

I yelled to Poppa. I asked him to please show me he's watching over us... please blow a gust of wind, please hold my hand, please whisper to me, please give me any sort of sign that you're there for me still. That you love me. I got nothing. It solidified that when we die... we're nothing but a memory. I need to keep his memories. I need to tell stories. I need to show everyone what a wonderful man he was to me. How much he loved me. I know he knew I loved him. But, that doesn't make me feel much better. I just want him back. I just want one last hug. I want one last ride in his truck to get an Icee. I want to get lost in Walmart again and come around the corner as a little girl and see him there with a smile asking me where I got off to and then grabbing my hand tight.

I know I have the memories, but I want to feel them again. I can think them all I want, but it's all overridden by pain.

And, last night, everyone had someone. Grandmama had Uncle John and William. Uncle John had William. Mom had Dad. Matthew had Chelsea. My husband is thousands of miles away. I came home to an empty house and spent my night wailing into the blanket that was Poppa's and still smells like him. I spent my night wondering what my place is in all this. I spent my night wondering if I should follow in his footsteps. So fucking selfish of me, but I've never felt pain like this. I can't stop crying. I can't stop shaking. I have no one to hold me. I just want to be held. All I can do is clean my house. I can't even look at my cats. They do no good right now. I don't want to eat anymore.

I took so much medicine last night. I know it was a huge handful of pills. I told my husband I wasn't sure what I took... I just knew I wanted to be numb. It didn't numb me. It just made me feel all high and made me worry more about things. I want you back, Poppa. I want you back for me, for Momma, for Grandmama, for Uncle John, for Matt and Chelsea, for me, for me.

I can't show the family my weakness. I can't cry in front of them, because I feel like it's selfish. He's their father and husband. I don't want to seem like a drama queen. So, I hold it all in and go outside, or to the bathroom. Most of it came out when I left. I want to crawl inside the casket with him and let them bury me. I can't take this. I try to crack jokes as a coping mechanism. I don't realize I'm doing it. Then I just look flippant.

I have no one. I'm so lonely.
Kristen and Poppa

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