grandma & grandpa

@greatgrandmas.7 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ekissam.


i’ve started this blog over and over in my head. i can’t remember which beginning i liked, so i’m scrapping it and just plunging in.

my aunt posted on her Facebook wall today: On April 10th it would have been my parents 65th wedding anniversary ~ On April 7th we will place dads ashes with moms which will be the 10th anniversary of her passing away & on April 9th it would have been daddy’s 88th birthday. I couldn't have asked for better parents. I love and miss them both so very much.

my grandpa passed away about a week before christmas. i always wondered how people coped with losing a loved one around major holidays. from the outside it always seemed infinitely more sad. hindsight, losing anyone you love is infinitely sad. . . but losing someone close to a holiday that you usually enjoy more because of their existence is just a massive punch to the gut.

this year i had already booked a flight for my holiday break a month out. my friend and i were going to go to jeju island. nothing tropical or fancy, just somewhere quiet and scenic.

immediately after getting news about my grandpa i was working through scenarios of canceling the ticket and booking a new one home. i felt terrible about having to cancel on my friend, and honestly, i wasn’t looking forward to a long flight home with lots of crying.

turns out my family wasn’t looking to have an immediate service. my grandpa wasn’t much of one for wakes and funerals, and he didn’t like people making a fuss. . .so it was decided that we’d have a service in the spring. and while i still felt a little guilty about not jetting home to be with family- the idea of a peaceful break sounded so appealing to me.

so, i let my friend know i’d still be going to jeju and we both thought that the scenery, some hiking, and some quiet time would be worth it and i might find a peaceful way of saying goodbye to my grandpa, or some profound shit like that.

then the night before we were to fly, her mom went into the hospital and the trip was concretely cancelled. i know we were both really disappointed. and this small nagging in the back of my brain kept saying. . . ‘see, we should’ve got the tickets home.’

but then there was this other voice that spoke of the possibilities of mourning through a holiday in complete solitude.

complete selfish solitude.

self indulgence, possibly to a fault.

i could stock up my fridge and spend the whole week shut off from the world. don’t need to change out of my pj’s, don’t need to shower. sleep whenever, watch tv, read, stare at a wall, sob uncontrollably. . . without keeping up appearances. even around my closest friends and my loving family i feel i need to keep up appearances or maybe they will worry that i’m depressed. my friend still wanted me to come in to seoul and stay over at her place. she didn’t want me to be alone through the holidays. she worried. most decent people would. . .

‘has she washed her hair this week?’

‘is she eating the nutella right out of the jar with a spoon?’

‘how many times is she going to listen to death cab for cutie in a row?’

i went out a couple of times. saw a couple of movies, did some window shopping, had lunch with a friend, but mostly i slept a lot. i watched tv a lot. (which, if you’re looking to avoid your own emotions by immersing yourself in tv, perhaps stay clear of bombs of emotions wrapped in holiday episode disguises- i’m looking at you Doctor Who christmas special!) i tooled around on my computer a lot. i cried a lot.

i abandoned myself to any fleeting emotion.

the fresh wound of missing my grandpa reminded me how much i missed my grandma and that cycle spun continuously for a while.

then i had to get back to work. i had to finish the semester. i had to start a new semester. somewhere in all that i got a christmas package which had the last $20 bill i’ll get from grandpa. (he always mailed one with a christmas card or birthday card, or stuck one in your pocket before you left his house.) i got a birthday package and a surprise st. paddy’s day package.

i’ve been out and about and keeping busy and getting things done- coasting- and now it’s april. i started crying more often about two weeks ago. it probably started with a fluctuation in my hormones that coincided with my period. . . but that’s not why it’s kept up.

i’ll go home this week to be with my family. we’ll bury my grandpa on the 7th, which will be the 10th anniversary of my grandma passing. the 9th would’ve been his 88th birthday, and the 10th would’ve been their 65th wedding anniversary.

i miss you both terribly.