Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I'm sitting in my favorite Steamboat coffee house, Off the Beaten Path. I liked their old location much much better, but it is still a good place.

My grandpa's funeral is today. I ended up not going home. He had been sick for so long that I felt like I had already come to terms with it. I told my parents that if they wanted me to be with them, I would go, but they agreed that it was best for me to stay and save the cost of a ticket, especially since I'm going to see them for my friend Julie's wedding in a little over a week. They thought it was more important that I had time with him while he was alive. I was able to talk to them today, so that was good.

Grief is a funny thing. I was so prepared for this, yet it's still a loss. For the first two days, I was so caught up in trying to learn the details of the service and figure out if I was going home or not that I just felt really shell-shocked about it. Then Saturday night, I was looking at some pictures of my grandparents that my aunt posted, and it hit me that he was really gone. I'm not going to see him next Christmas or hear his voice on the phone when he calls. He would always tell my dad to give us a "squeeze"--and something about apple pie and cheese. "Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze." That was one of his little sayings. His parents were German, but the only phrase he knew how to say was "Beer and ham sandwich, please." He was very generous and always remembered our birthdays and Christmas, even thought there are over 20 grandchildren (my aunt and uncle are expecting right now--this new one will make 23). It's been a long time since I've seen that side of the family. My cousin Drew is getting married this fall, so I will see them then.

My grandpa had this horrific suit coat that was 70's polyester blend and ugly shades of red, purple and orange, I think with some blue and/or green thrown in there, too. When Grandpa decided to get rid of it, my Uncle Steve wore it to a costume party as a used car salesman. Eventually it resurfaced at family Christmases and got passed around from family member to family member. It was always a lot of fun to see who would get the ugly coat and how creatively they could re-gift it next year.

I'm so glad to have a day off today. It's been hard trying to function normally at work. There are times when it's appropriate to grieve and cry and times when it's not--I can't be weeping while I'm taking orders, for instance. But having to put these emotions on hold was super hard and took all my energy, and I ended up snapping at my coworkers and crying at simple reprimands from the chefs. I got so used to having to stuff the emotions that I couldn't get them to surface when I had a break, and they popped up in odd ways like the ones already mentioned. I felt annoyed by people making silly jokes and having trivial fun. I didn't know where the anger was coming from, and then I remembered this quote from one of my friends: "Anger is the face of grief." Yesterday I found a sweet spot--a little rocky island in the middle of the river that you have to bushwhack to get to, so no rides or hikes go by--and just cried for about 20 min. That was really helpful. I still feel like I might get easily annoyed or be short-tempered, but I'm ready to move on. I don't want to go back to work tomorrow, though. Ugh.

I got my hair cut and got my nails done today. That was really nice. Thanks for letting me process all this on this good ol' blog.

Friday, July 4, 2008

I got a call from my dad this morning that my grandpa passed away early this morning. It's totally not a suprise, and lots of things came about in the best possible way. He was in his own bed, which was good because he was determined not to go back to the hospital. They were able to call my uncles and aunt to be with him in time. My parents got to go see him about two weeks ago, and they found out about him right before my mom was about to leave for the weekend, so she was able to stay with my dad. My brother was already coming home for the fourth of July. I still don't know if I'll be going home or not. In some ways it's easier to stay here because I know my mom's way of processing would be to talk about it nonstop, while mine is solitary grieving and inward processing before I'm ready to talk about it. I have a really good support system here; I don't feel at all alone. But I would like to go home for the service, I think, and have that closure and chance to say goodbye. The hardest part for me is that he wasn't a believer. I can't think about that. I don't know what kind of service they'll be having. He's going to be cremated, so there's no burial. I would appreciate prayers for my family!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Emotional breakdown

I came home from dinner tonight to find my bedroom door locked. I could hear music playing inside, so I pounded on it until my room mate came and opened it. She thought I was working and locked it "for privacy reasons." What? Who else would go into our room without knocking if she just closed the door? I wanted to change my clothes because I got soaked by the stupid lawn sprinklers that come on at the most inopportune moments. It really bugged me that I couldn't. Once Teresa got back in the shower (yes, I knocked until she got out of the shower to let me in), I burst into tears. I didn't know why such a stupid little thing would get me so worked up. I think I have just been emotionally on edge for a while--I've been struggling with discontent, jealousy and trying to learn to healthily walk through my fears--and all it took was a stupid little thing to send me off the deep end. Also, we've been close since being here, and the past few days she's been really upset but won't talk to me about it. I know she just needs time to herself to process, but for some reason I've let it hurt my feelings. Her locking the door on me was a physical manifestation of how I feel like it's been lately. Also, I don't feel as free to share when she doesn't share, and I feel like a lot is weighing on my mind. Grr, I don't know how to handle these emotions well. I know I really need someone to pray for me. So, if you're reading this, feel free to take that task upon yourself!