I woke up the other night in a cold sweat.
Upset, unsettled, filled with crippling anxiety. The kind of feeling that makes you want to go back to sleep & sleep in…all day. You know?
I had another dream about my grandma. A vivid dream. And well, it makes me really miss her.
It’s no stranger in my life, I’ve experienced death in ways I’m not quite ready to talk about on this blog. In any case, my grandmother’s death has been really hard. For my dad, my sisters, my brother, my stepmom, me, my whole family. It’s a missing piece in our puzzle.
This is something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while…
When people ask me about death & what to do & how to grieve with losing someone important, I always say this: “don’t be there immediately. Everyone else will do that. Be there months…even years down the line.”
Of course I was devastated a few days after my grandma passed away. But what about months, years, 10 years down the line? Because honestly 4 months in & I miss her more than ever.
Time does not always live up to its healing reputation.
In fact, sometimes time can be worse. An enemy, almost. Time.
If someone close to me has a death, I always make it a point to ask months/years down the line how they’re coping? How are they feeling? Or just listen.
Death is funky.
It brings out the nosey. It brings out the worst…& the best in people. You never can be sure. It’s weird, isn’t it?
Recently I just finished the book, What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love by Carole Radziwill. AND I THINK THIS IS WHAT BROUGHT THIS TO THE SURFACE? The nightmares. More anxiety. The interest in posting this on The Skinny Confidential.
Really, What Remains is one of the most beautifully written pieces about death I’ve ever read. Not in a depressing way either. In a way that’s completely relatable to someone who’s experienced a heartbreaking, devastating death.
In What Remains she calls the nosey people “tragedy whores.” Tragedy Whores! And they exist. It is best to ignore them she says. Cope with people who are genuinely interested in helping you get through the death in the most productive way possible.
But back to the cold sweat.
Some part of me thinks the reason I’ve started having cold sweats is because it’s the holidays. Everyone is nostalgic during the holidays, right. Are the holidays an excuse to expose our true feelings without feeling “weird” or do they give the death unwanted power? Which is which?
Ultimately I guess the reason I wanted to do this post is because of you.
If you’re in a position where you’re feeling especially sad/nostalgic/emotional about losing a loved one around the holidays, I feel you. I get it. And…it sucks.
I don’t really have advice here.
In fact, I feel like I’m possibly asking for it? I just know that this last 2 months have been hard. There have been so many times I went to pick up the phone to call my grandma. My grandma wasn’t just my grandma, she was really, REALLY my best friend. With the wedding, it’s been exceptionally difficult because she was SO excited to see us get married. And I was excited to have her see us pull the trigger.
So how do I deal with death?
That question is kind of open-ended.
I don’t know. I just do, I guess.
I take each day as it comes & try to remember the happy, FUNNY memories. Of course darkness creeps in time to time. I try to avoid it by practicing yoga, talking with friends/family, & reading…a lot. Reading helps me SO MUCH more than anyone will ever know- it’s an escape. As The Nanz would say “get outside yourself, Lauryn.”
If you’re experiencing grief or death, how are you dealing? Is it more difficult for you during the holidays? Do you guys want to open a conversation about this? I can go deeper…but I’m hesitant, I really don’t want to be a Debbie Downer. I just can’t look at another gift guide. NEEDED to talk about something else, something a lot of us go through during the holidays…& every day.
Ultimately I wanted to let you know, you’re not alone. Happy holidays to every one of you special people. XO