Saturday, January 21, 2012

Avoiding grief is stupid because it comes back and bitch slaps you right in the face later on.

I've been sitting on this post for a while.  Not literally, because that would for sure break my laptop.  It's not 'winter weight,' it's insulation, dammit!  I've started it a hundred times, but only last night while I was half-drunk and laying in bed wide awake did things finally materialize for me, leading to an all out emotional breakdown at the behest of hormones and feelings that I usually bottle up and drink away.

Shortly before Thanksgiving this past year, my grandpa passed away.

To be clear, this post will probably be less than humorous and entertaining, but my way of dealing with emotions is to write them because otherwise I can't figure out what the shit is going on inside my head.  That's why I call myself a writer, y'all.  So read it or don't--this one really isn't for you.

When we received news that my grandpa had died, I didn't cry.  Actually, typically when I receive really bad news, I don't cry.  I "sort it out" in my head, break it down into smaller pieces and file them away.  It's only later when something ridiculously trivial happens that my emotional dam breaks and brings forth the flood waters of every little thing that I've been sober and strong about.  That spiral usually leads to drinking in solitude, which you may think is unhealthy, but it's therapeutic for me.  As someone who doesn't handle emotions well, the alcohol in my system gives me remarkable clarity and insight into what I've tamped down inside me.  It allows me to "feel" my "feelings," as it were.  It is always a narcissistic mixture of self-pity, stubborn sadness and despair and it is utterly indulgent for me.  And sometimes?  I think people need that.  I know that I do.

So last night, the proverbial dam cracked and I drowned myself in memories of my darling Grandpa, a man I will always adore and never see again.  He wasn't a saint, in fact, he could be a hard man--a product of the tough-as-nails generation that survived the Great Depression and World War II.  He was smart and ambitious and he traveled the world but always remembered to send postcards to his grandchildren...postcards that I've kept and treasured and that helped light the fire of adventure within myself.  I think the biggest, truest thing that anyone could say about my grandpa is that he was generous.  Truly, when that word has been polluted and lost meaning, he really was generous.  He helped put all of his grandchildren through college.  Not that he was rich financially, but the little that he had, he spread around.  How many people do you know would do that these days?  That's why he is so remarkable to me, I think, because he sacrificed what would have been a very cushy retirement in order to live plainly and provide for his children, and his children's children.

I would not be who I am, I would not have what I have and I would not know what I know without him.  And while the world is a bit more selfish and scary without him, I'll always feel his guidance and inspiration within me.  I love you, Grandpa.  Thank you for everything.

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