Gma

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My gma died today.

I dont feel like i have the words yet to make an eloquent entry about my grandmother’s and my relationship, but i also feel like i have to document this day, this thing, as it happens.

My dad called me yesterday to tell me they had rushed Gma to the hospital in an ambulance yesterday morning. i was supposed to becoming out for dinner anyway, so he told me to still come out but just to go to the house. Gma never wanted to die in a hospital, so they were going to take her home.  They worried about transporting her here; if she would actually make the trip since she passed out cold whenever they took her off the oxygen.  But she did. She wasnt awake really but shed sometimes be able to nod or shake her head in response to basic questions, like if she was cold.

Jeff came out, Amy arrived on the train, Tegan, Keir and Laurie flew in. Elli came home with my parents.  Johnny and Bonnie and Lindy and Tom and Chris and Steph all came out for varying parts of the night.  Amy, elli, tegan, keir, laurie and i stayed up most of the night in her bedroom watching her breathe and going through her costume jewelry and personal items that she used to keep on her dresser when we were kids. I passed out around 4am but my sister spent most of the night awake with her, and elli slept in her bed with her.

my sister woke me up this morning to tell me keir (who is  my cousin but also a doctor) said she’d hit one of the stages of death with her irregular breathing and that it wasnt necessarily happening right then but that i should go upstairs soon. but she wanted to talk and i could tell so i let her, for awhile we just talked about gma and dying, and whether or not my oldest brother would be flying home.

then my dad came to the door in a panic and told us she was dying right then and we ran up the stairs half dressed in pyjamas and crammed into the tiny once-my-3 year old selfs-bedroom and we held her hand, and each other and watched her die.

my mom cried and hugged us. everyone cried and hugged everyone. through out the whole day everyone had their turns breaking out in tears but i learned that whenever i see my mother cry, i apparently will also start crying.

Elli wanted to do a ritual washing of her body and getting her out of her hospital gown and into her real clothes, to do her hair.  I didnt participate in it but I was really appreciative she did it, as Gma’s body stayed in the bed for hours while they got the death certificate and the funeral homes and everything else worked out that hospitals normally take care of. it was good, to see her all made up back to look like herself without that weird embalming and make up you see at caskets. she just looked like she was laying asleep, only her chest wasnt moving and she was cold. but she also looked dead. not waxy and painted.

i didnt touch her after she was dead and i kind of regret not holding her hand or something but everyone was trying at first and there was always someone in the room and it never seemed like it would be that important. i still dont know if it is, really. i watch my mom in there saying her last words before the body was taken, hours later… like at least 4, maybe 5 hours… it was so surreal to all be hanging out in the house knowing her body was still there, but at the same time it was oddly comforting.

when her body was being taken out of the house and people were crying we made a joke about playing ‘patricia the stripper’.. a song that was some sort of inside joke between gma and my parents/aunts and uncles (her name was patricia).. so we did. her body was being wheeled out under a burgundy velvet cloth and we played patricia the stripper and cry laughed. it was a little garish to some i suppose, but it was us and i think she would have found it funny.

matt and his family flew in tonight and joe is flying in tomorrow. keir and tegan and here until sunday night. so sunday in the early afternoon we are all going to gathering do… something.  she never wanted a funeral, she was the opposite of religious, so theres none of that to do or prepare. shes being cremated but we wont get the ashes back for at least a week or so, so the actual scattering of the ashes probably wont happen until christmas.  I think ive decided im buying a silver vial necklace to put some of her ashes in.  on the off chance i get married or have some major life event i can feel like shes with me.  i think some of the family think thats really weird, but it brings me comfort.

the rest of the day was surprisingly normal. just like a giant family gathering.  kind of like the wake after my dad’s dad died, but more upbeat. maybe that strange too, i dont know.

my grandmother was a great gma, to me and to the rest of the family. i have great memories of her from my entire life, right up until the end. i was always her crib partner and even at the end where she wasnt really making sense she could still count her points in crib. i need it forever noted that the last time we played crib we bet my parents both games and skunked them once. almost entirely because gma was getting all the points.

i told brandon my gma died and asked him to tell people so i didnt have to. and he did, he told everyone. and they all sent really nice text messages to me. i appreciate that.

its good to have close family and friends at times like these.  all my friends keep offering to spend time together but with all my family here i dont want to break off just yet. still, its nice that theyve offered.

i am especially relieved that joe is making the trip.  i know its a bit of a pointless trip for him because shes already died (but, at least he and his family had just visited), and we arent doing the ceremony until christmas or something when people can come back. but its good to grieve together i think? and it felt like he was missing. i think things are finally becoming ok with me mentally about my family now, because it really did just feel like we were incomplete without him home.

i think next week is going to be the hardest, when everyone leaves and theres not constant distractions and theres no one left to talk to. because i talk, even if its not about the thing thats wrong, i talk to process. theres a lot of other life stuff going on that ill probably write about later but this is going to be whats running in the background for awhile.

My Gma’s gone, and I loved her.

 

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do i think im going to kill myself right now?

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i’ve lost the ability to tell. ive lost trust in my ability to keep myself safe. its a feeling you cant explain to someone who hasnt been there. everyone thinks suicide comes from a slow growing sadness that eventually just takes over. and it does, for some, id suppose… but i just feel like im coming unhinged. like my actions dont make sense, like my feelings are inconsistent.

public places make me anxious.
everything is sort of awful in ways i dont know how to talk about.

do i want to commit myself?
would that help?
would i lose my job?

…am i going to kill myself?

gratitude

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welp. theres two reasons i should be writing this; im going to start with the positive one.

its thanksgiving! and while this should be a day where we all recognize the horrendous actions of our ancestors and aid in creating a better society, lets be honest, that aint north america’s style, so I’m going to talk about things that are good and eating turkey.

last weekend we had friendsgiving, where all my non-blood famjam (ie the poop circle) came to my apartment and we had a potluck supper. IT WAS SO GOOD. i am unsure family thanksgiving can compete. Amber and Ian stayed here for a couple nights, which was awesome because I miss Amber SO. SOOOOO MUCH. and I hadnt seen Ian in months because he was stationed in BC for 8 months this year.

A lot of things have been going well lately. My grandmother has been losing her sight and we didnt think shed be able to read again, but her vision was mostly fixed this week. she is ecstatic. it is adorable. I made her supper tonight; we played cards and she kept showing me her completed crossword puzzles and the books shes reading. i like it. its nice to see her happy again.

Im planning a trip to see my brother in december, and flights strangely got $300 cheaper. whaaaaa.

Im still studying for the GREs, and while the word problem algebra questions may be kicking my ass, turns out i still remember geometry: cha ching.

I have had really good times with my family lately. Im terrified of moving away for multiple years to go to grad school. Im very thankful for the family I have been born into. I wish more people had relationships with their grandparents. i wish more people still got to see their siblings on a regular basis. i wish more people got to see their nieces and nephews grow up.

And then theres the bad reason for writing this.

Last Thursday we went to my parents for supper. my mom called me on my drive there to asked when id get there and there was something weird in her voice, but she said everything was fine. I may have spent the entire ride assuming my grandfather died (he is fine). we ate, the kids played. My sister had made an apple pie. we sat down for dessert, most of us with pie, my super healthy brother eating apples. then my Dad said “well, now that everyone’s sitting down..” and the world stopped a little.

My Dad’s cancer is back. It is worse. Radiation didnt work. It is possible he may just go back on hormone therapy, but it’s more likely he’ll need chemo.

So theres that.

Jeff stared at the table, handing Lucy more and more ice cream (that she’d never get to eat normally) as we asked questions. I slowly ate all my pie. Amy got all teary. Mom kept hugging us. Jeff got pie. We stress ate, as a family.

I am grateful that I am Canadian, and that this wont bankrupt us. I am grateful that my grandmother is turning 90 and is still mentally together and able to do crosswords. I am grateful my brother is willing to have me in his home whenever I want, so I can have a relationship with his kids. I am grateful for friends that move 1600 miles away, that I still talk to everyday. I am grateful that when my sister dropped me off, I wanted to tell my roommate that my dad was sick. I am grateful that my boss is my best friend. I am grateful to have friends who, without knowing why i was upset, called to take me out to supper.

Happy Thanksgiving, internet.

It’s World Suicide Prevention Day.

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Most of you who know me know this is a cause I’m not so quiet in advocating for, and here is why:
-Globally, suicide in the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15-29
-Globally, more people die each year from suicide than murder and war combined.
-One person takes their life by suicide every 40 seconds.
-For every completed suicide, 20 others attempted

Please take the time to learn the warning signs, and make the effort to reach out to those who are in need. People do not die of suicide, they die of despair and hopelessness. We owe it to one another to take any action we can to stop that.

If you are suffering, please tell someone. Tell a friend, a family member, a mentor, me or a random stranger on the internet. Reach out to someone, anyone. The situation cannot become worse if you are already at this point.

Communally, we must come together to improve. Unlike other illnesses, this is one that both individuals and our community have the ability to change.

Try.

I have mixed drinks about my feelings.

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welp. it’s 2:30 in the afternoon, and i’m writing here. never saw that one coming.

I’m supposed to be working.

I’m not. (Obviously).

Tomorrow is Canada Day (stat holiday). I have two massively important deadlines of Wednesday.
Yesterday I went shopping with my mom. I spent $70 on a fucking pair of shorts. I hate you, only pair of comfortable shorts. THen I went to my parents for supper.
Today my Dad called me at 830. then I went back to sleep. then my boss called me at 10. then I went back to sleep. my alarm went off incessantly and I slept. Now it is 2:30 and I am in bed typing this. On the upside, I was supposed to work from home today anyway. And I’m not supposed to work tomorrow, so in theory I can fix this.
Sometimes it’s weird that I have a job…

It is so hot in my apartment you stick to furniture and we go into the hallway to cool down. It is always hotter here than outside. We never turn the fans off. What I would give to live on the other side of the building this time of year.

I havent been drunk in 3 months. I have drank, but not hard liquor (that I can think of..) and barely hit buzzed. I’m fairly certain I am going to get tanked tonight. I don’t have a particular reason. I proved I could do it, maybe? Not drinking helps with the meds. Drinking helps with the friends. and thr anxiety. and the feeling like me. I want a break from life. and life isnt even bad.

I just realized I have to go to the drug store as I ran out of my meds this morning.

anyway.
i think this is what like… normal low grade depression is. I have been here for awhile. I want to do less. I am not excited about things. But things are fine.

Is it normal to start hating that? I just want it to shove one way or the other; being here makes me antsy. This seems extremely abnormal but I am never very close to normal, as we have previously established.

….

Brandon’s mother came to visit this weekend. She’s nice. We walked down the boardwalk to the market and got farm fresh veggies. and valley strawberries (aka the best strawberries). Tonight I am going to Kale’s for a Canada party. Hence the slammered. I miss Kale so so so much. Like in my bones. He doesn’t have time for us these days.
I bought an ice cream cake from my sister for said party. my sister is doing surprisingly well at the moment, all things considered. Sean… not so much. In a multitude of ways, not the least of which is that his sister has been in the ICU for 3 weeks now. Doesn’t appear to be progressing much…

My Grandmother is getting age related dementia I think. She’s very clear in the moment, but at any given time her version of events is completely different. And she forgets how old I am, sometimes thinking im older than I am and sometimes forgetting Im not in high school. She often asks me how my thesis is going.
…I already graduated, Grandma…. you came to dinner.
Worrying.

Grampy is dying.
I haven’t visited enough.
I often think about what I will feel when I look back at this time period. Will I regret not getting there more? I am of two minds. First, yes, obviously. I already regret not getting to know him better growing up, though there were a lot of outside forces at play that were beyond my control. And he’s very important to my father, and my father is very important to me, so by nature I should have known him better than I do. But on the other hand… we werent close, and he is in pain and we dont have much to talk about, and when I go with my father he doesnt really even talk to me… I should go by myself tomorrow, maybe. Ask him about his childhood, or something. He must have such interesting stories I know nothing about. This is the time, I suppose. I didn’t really get that with Grammy; they thought she was better until one day she wasnt.

It’s 254. I’m going to go to the drugstore and get my meds and then I really need to force myself to get something done.. anything done. Or I’m going to get in trouble. Which will be awkward because I’m getting drunk with my boss tonight.

one-one-thousand

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it’s been awhile.

I think i just needed the space for a bit, if that makes sense? which of course it doesnt because this place is just me sending words off into the abyss. no one reads it, or anything. but i needed some undocumented time for myself i guess. things got good enough. and the thing no one ever talks about with getting better is that you also have to figure out how being better works once you’re there. so here we are.

I have moved from having therapy twice a week to once a month. my psychiatrist has moved me from 3 week intervals to three month intervals – that means I’ve stabilized. Unfortunately, I am at the maximum dose of one of my medications in order to achieve this, so I think they will be trying to ween that down later in the year.

I’m working full time at StudentsNS again, now with a new fancy title: equity officer. i like it, it pays the bills and then some. i dont have to work and go to school now, which is also helping the stress levels. which brings me to the other large detail: I finally graduated. it was bright and sunny out, warm, didnt need coats. it was the only day like that we have had this spring. my parents came; my whole family went out for a fancy meal. i won the senate medal of distinction. then I came home and hosted a party for my friend mark, because he left for BC the next day.


man, grad robes just arent flattering.

Nicole and Mark have moved to BC which is awful and I hate it, but I am happy that Nicole got such a good opportunity. its been like 2 weeks and it already feels weird.friends, i love you, but stop having lives without me, god dammit.

I’ve decided to work on the community garden here; I’m growing herbs and some veggies so far. Trying to get involved in somethings; force myself into a routine out of the house. I’ve stopped drinking (my friends are having a hard time with that). It’s not a permanent thing, I still have a drink here and there, but I’ve stopped getting blackout wasted. when i drink a lot now i get deathly depressed for a few days. Learning to acknowledge this. Debating learning to row, or taking a painting class. I miss art.

I saw my grandfather today. his cancer has spread through all of his bones; they are disintegrating. he is in a lot of pain. i need to make more of an effort to get there and actually talk to him – meaning going without my parents because he only speaks to my father when i do that, really.

Learning to be better.

Silently screaming

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I never thought learning that suicide barriers had been installed on the MacDonald bridge walkway would be this disappointing.

I’ve been looking up the statistics… Because that’s what I do. I like facts. And the facts are that slitting your wrisits and swallowing a bunch of pills have a very low success rate. Like less that 1 in 6 succeed. Nearly everyone with a gun or cyanide does but I don’t really have access to those.

Which is a good thing.

So jumping off something really high has pretty good results, but I don’t think I could ever convince myself to jump off a building into concrete, so the thought of water at the bottom was nice.

I’ve always been terrified of drowning but the fall would break all my bones anyway so I feel like I’d be knocked unconscious first.

But there’s barriers and people and I’m not very good at climbing fences so.
I guess drowning is the next best option. Just fill the pockets full of rocks and walk like virgina woolf.

I wonder if I could do it.