Tri-Umphant Living

Lost: One Hot Ticket



Christmas 1972 with my Grandma 

My grandmother died and there are waves of feelings washing over me. My grandma was a woman who spoke her mind. She never bit her tongue. She said what she thought regardless of whether it was right or wrong. She simply said it as she saw it. I loved that about her. She was unlike my mother in so many ways. She dressed beautifully, she didn’t hide, she stepped up. She spoke up. My grandmother didn’t say things to be nice and she didn’t blow smoke up anyone’s ass. She said what she meant and she meant what she said and no one was going to pull one over on her. Period. She was a hot ticket. I hope I have a little bit of her in me.

Her passing makes my being motherless all the more poignant. I have this hole in my heart that even my grandma couldn’t fill completely. But having her in my world made the gap seem less gaping. Ever since she died I keep finding myself dangling in this wide-open space. Asking myself all sorts of questions. Wondering about my past — my grief about being abused, about being un-mothered and about time I missed out on with people I love because being close felt too scary. Without her, I find that I am constantly wondering about my future. Asking myself — am I doing what I want to do with my life? Am I who I want to be in this world? Am I enough? I think so. Maybe. I’m not sure … I’m really not.

But I want to find out. I do. And for me this means not running from feeling sad, angry, confused — it means truly recognizing my feelings and being with them. It feels like blowing bubbles into the open air and trying to catch them on the tip of my finger without popping them. Just letting them gently sit there until they begin to quiver and pop when they’re ready. When they’ve sat there long enough.

Being fully present is hard work, yet it feels like the most important work I need to be doing right now. Figuring out who I am in the world. How I want to be in a relationship with myself. Breaking old habits and finding new ways of experiencing myself. It’s about living in my heart-space more and letting go of being afraid of what I might find when I get deep inside. It’s about being closer to myself and the people I love. Which involves being vulnerable and risking — both of which are super scary. But I can’t really imagine living any other way. I think I’ll miss too much beauty and light if I pop the bubbles without letting them float a while. Without feeling the wide range of feelings that need to be felt. Even the uncomfortable ones. Especially the uncomfortable ones.

8 replies »

  1. Jessica, I’m so sorry for the loss of your grandma. She sounds like a remarkable woman. I know a bit about the wide-open space you’re talking about. A blogging friend of mine who passed away recently wrote about it as well. She wrote: “Now, if I can just trust during that space between the moment when life turns upside down, and the moment it is righted again.” Living in that space in between can be so hard but you’re right to be gentle with yourself and be where you need to be. So many of us rush through those hard, uncomfortable places only to be broadsided by them later on. That fact that you recognize that is going to serve you well. And you’ve built a life surrounded by people you can trust, which is huge. I’m proud to call you my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sending you love from across the waters. You are enough and you will get through this. Losing my grandmother made me feel so much more alone too. She mothered me in a way my mother didn’t. I was frozen by her death and couldn’t cry or mourn her properly at the time. So yes, let those feelings come, sit with them and watch the pass, brave beautiful Jessica 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. Take all the time you need to feel, to grieve, to be present. I lost my grandpa 3 years ago, and it was devastating. I still miss him, but now that I’ve finally managed to grieve that loss, I’ve been able to think about him and smile. Grieving is important, even if it is painful and difficult. That wide open space is a scary place. Be gentle with yourself. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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