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Circus Rambles - On sad thoughts that will not make anyone happy

June 11, 2018

So like, if that bugs you, maybe skip this one.

 

I've mentioned my grandmother before, and published an essay here that was about her. She died when I was nineteen. I've been thinking about her a fair bit lately. Even after seven and a half years, it's still hard to do so. Writing is one of my primary methods of processing my emotions, and so writing about her is also very difficult. I'd like to do more of it at some point. I tried writing a poem but it just turned into a list of random things which then turned into this ramble. Go figure.

 

She was from Oregon. A very small town a few hours away from where I live now. I wonder if that's why I wanted to move here so badly, without even knowing what it was like. (I guess it's good luck that I ended up liking it here a lot.) I wonder if she would have been glad that I moved close to where she was born. I wonder if she would have gotten to come visit me...

 

She had a brother who lived in Spokane, also reasonably close to where I live now, and I met him exactly once when I was a teenager. He died...five years ago, I think? He had a family too. I've half-thought about looking them up someday, but I guess I'm worried that it might be weird since we've never met and I don't know what their relationship to my grandma was and I feel like it might be weird. So yeah. Maybe someday.

 

I'm starting to feel the elephant in my own room, so...I don't mention my grandfather as much. He died two and a half years ago. It wasn't as sudden as my grandma's death was, but I was still broken up and miserable over it. My partner at the time went to the funeral with me and it was very helpful. I don't know what the term for this is, but...I guess it was like, a military funeral kind of? Like, my grandpa was in the Air Force during World War II, and so there were people from the military there and they did this ceremony involving folding a flag and firing a gun into the air, which scared the hell out of me because I have an exaggerated startle response and also it was a gun. But they gave the flag to my dad afterwards and I think he really appreciated it.

 

I feel...very lucky that I don't remember either of those funerals particularly well. I'm not great at funerals. They're not fun. They're probably necessary on some level and it's not like I think they should never happen. But they're not fun. I'm reminded of something my grandpa said at my grandma's funeral, in response to various neighbors trying to comfort him. He said, "There isn't anything you can say." Even as a stupid nineteen-year-old who did nothing but cry that entire day (and pretty much every day for the next three months), that kind of stuck with me. I guess it just feels really true. He also told me it was okay to cry and that he kind of wished that he could, and I think that was one of the last things he said to me before dementia started getting to him and he stopped being able to remember how old I was.

 

...I feel like if I read this out loud to my therapist she would give me that look she gives me when I talk about horrible things happening to me. Apparently I have a flat affect. Apparently it gives the impression that I am not expressing much emotion when I speak about horrible things happening to me. Something something response to trauma. Something something control tower in my brain trying to keep the ship from sinking.

 

I legitimately do not remember why I started writing this, and looking back on it it feels like the most rambly of my rambles for a while. Oh wait. I was trying to write a poem about all this, and instead it turned into this really long and kind of depressing ramble.

 

...maybe I should go to sleep now guys.

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