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April 21, 2014

Grieving Rules for the Rest of Us. ~ Brooke D. McCarley

grief girl sad

She was funnier, more generous in spirit and she gave me a ton of barbie dolls.

My grandmother’s bed was dissembled and moved to a storage room once the new hospital bed arrived to her home. Along with the bed, they also assigned nurses that were always stuck in traffic and a booklet that summed up the days of our loved one’s dying process. Within these days she went from walking, telling jokes and laughing to bed-ridden and incoherent.

This was unfortunate because I had finally gotten the pot brownies and was bringing them to her. The rest of the family wanted to try medical marijuana on the down-low. This I could do. I could get weed. I could get pot brownies.

I could get pot lollipops if that one guy would just wake up and remember to get them for me. If I was lucky, I could have gotten my hands on hash that you brew with your coffee.

They said I was going overboard, but I just wanted to sit with her in her living room and watch The Bachelor or the shopping channel a few more times and while laughing. That’s the thing about cancer. Some forms of cancer are merely thirsty and looking for shelter while others have a monstrous need to devour a body. And it doesn’t waste time. My grandmother was on hospice care for roughly a month. She passed away a day after Christmas.

People say that death happens in threes, and she was my third within six months. The last two were a week apart. One the weekend before Christmas and then my grandmother’s funeral the weekend after.

I saw my grandmother everyday while growing up. I saw her as much as I saw my parents as an adult. I can say at times I was closer to her then my mother. I liked her better. She was funnier, more generous in spirit and she gave me a ton of barbie dolls.

The night I found out my grandmother passed, I had to write out the following rules and proceed to do all of them until I had to go home and be with family the next day.

1. Get buck wild. If you want to.

2. Stay in. Turn off your phone and log off facebook if you want to.

3. Talk. Share stories about your lost loved one. Share stupid stories about yourself. Let people laugh because when they do, their eyes crinkle around the corners and the light hits their pupils. It is as if they flash their happiness at you.

4. Don’t talk. Let your friends talk around you and be comfortable in your silence. Let their presence hug the loneliness out of you.

5. Let it seep out. Be happy as long as your are and then be sad for as long as you want. Who cares if the numbness breaks at one am after a few whisky drinks. Your friends will understand and help you feel human again.


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Apprentice Editor: Ola Weber / Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Flickr

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