Where I'm At

I buried my grandmother last Tuesday. Anyone who’s ever had to bury a grandparent probably knows that though the pain of losing them is great, the pain of seeing the grief of your parent, for whom they’ve lost their parent, hits in a different kind of way. Perhaps you come upon the grave realization that – memento mori – we each have our times to go. One day, you will have to bury your loved ones. One day, your loved ones will have to bury you.

The weekend before, I went to a birthday party with some friends and then went shopping for some funeral clothes. Monday, I had a full set of classes and work before embarking on an overnight train back to Santa Ana, getting picked up by my brother at 3:30. I only managed to get a few hours of sleep before we left the house at 9:30 to go to the church, and then we had a funeral and church service.

One of the most salient memories of that day was seeing the five sisters – my mother and her four sisters – mourning and grieving and following their now-lifeless mother, their mother who was responsible for the life of all family in attendance. If she had not lived, if she had not endured, none of us would be alive. Her exponential offspring would have never come into existence. This post would not exist, for there would be no author to write it.

We had a police convoy escort the hearse and our family to the cemetery. We buried her there. It was a dark and grim affair full of tears and loss and emotion. We went back to my aunt’s house to recuperate, and at night we had prayers and a family party to celebrate her life. The cousins went out to eat so that the elders could have their own time.

I went back to the train station at night, completely sleep deprived and working on nothing but my school projects the entire ride. I arrive back in Merced at 7:00 and then got breakfast with someone important to me, enjoyed the quiet calm serenity that is the morning life of a cool but warm Merced morning, and then it was back into the routine I went: a full day of school and work. I was exhausted and sleep-deprived.

I’m glad that I went to my grandmother’s funeral and burial. For a while, my emotions had been dull. I think that going to the funeral and burial finally gave me closure and the environment to process my emotions in. It’s like when you’ve had a lot of imprecise sorrow and sadness built up inside, and finally being able to cry and release those emotions is a healthy part of processing them.

Well, that’s where I’m at. Strangely, I feel pretty okay. I’ve been falling a bit behind on a few projects and homework assignments and whatnot, but I’ve been having a lot of fun in-between all my deadlines and assignments! I’m grateful to have been able to find such a great support circle and friend group to help me through all of this. They say that friends in need are friends indeed, to which I say: indeed. When my strength reservoir runs low and I lose motivation to be me because I’m so swamped with loss and stress, it helps to have friends who will support me through it all. So all things considered, I’m pretty okay.

Happy trails.