Do you know that feeling when all your life, you prepare for a day something will happen, and when it does, you know exactly how you will feel, and when it does, it feels exactly like it should.
My grandmother died today.
I always knew this day would come in my twenties, she was very old and very frail.
The painful truth is, I can’t feel anything.
Not because it hurts so much that I feel numb, but because it doesn’t hurt. What do I do?
It doesn’t pain me.
I didn’t hate her but neither were we close in any extraordinary manner. I have known her for over twenty one years, so I suppose that ought to mean something, but somehow, that something is a lot smaller than what one would think.
She hovers over childhood memories like a sort of fairy godmother, but not the one who turns your pumpkin into a chariot, just someone old and powerful with the ability to command and change the rhythm of your life in ways that cannot be explained.
I wouldn’t say she didn’t matter to me, she did, but not in a way a granddaughter loves a grandmother, she mattered because she was, and because I am because she was, and hence in me is a part of her, so she mattered.
People said she was a great woman of God, powerful in her Christian charity and love, perhaps they are right, she may have been, I know she prayed for every single person she could remember and every single matter she could remember, till almost the very end. If her prayers made my life different, I thank her for them, and I am grateful she prayed.
She played favourites, and not in the sweet grandmotherly way, but in a rather rambunctious, disconcerting manner. I wasn’t ever on her list, I suspect my mother was though, my sister was close.
I didn’t hate her, but the truth is I didn’t like her very much. I do not believe that love for family is simply inherent, I believe it is as much a choice as any other love. And I didn’t love her.
She’s gone away now and I don’t feel pain, I don’t feel hurt, I don’t feel I lost my time with her. I don’t. I didn’t think I would, but it’s an odd unsettling feeling to actually not feel it. It’s like an organ in your body being taken away, a seemingly imposing one, but one whose absence doesn’t change much, doesn’t pain much, all you are is keenly aware that it’s no longer there.
She was an organ of such sorts in my childhood, in my memories, but I won’t make way for platitudes and false a bunch of sweet memories to incarnate her into the eternal, I can’t. Many may deem me heartless, but I can’t find it in me to do that.
I didn’t know her when she was younger, but I have heard that she was always as stubborn and domineering, always as forceful and as daunting, I have heard she was a lot like myself, makes me wonder.
If I leave this world with no notice, will the people who need to know how much I love them ever know, those whose names I carry silently in my heart, have done so for years, without ever breathing it out loud, will they ever know how much they are still loved and thought of and cherished, I wonder, probably not.
I won’t attend her funeral. I keep trying to make my peace with my decision but the truth is, it’s hard. It feels like a heartless thing to do, one that no one will forgive me for, perhaps for the best.