Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grieving and Soap Operas

I lost My De the first of this month. It wasn't a shock, as she had been ill a long time. But theres really no way to be prepared for the loss of someone you love. You think your ready. Your a sensible person, you know theres no cure, but still it stuns you when it happens. The idea of our parents dieing just seems unthinkable. And yes, De was my parent. The world would view her as my grandmother, but she helped raise me and was a mother to me as much as my mom is. My mom is the more free spirited one, who taught me to be independent. My De was the over protective mother. She worried about me, fussed over me, did all those things that make you crazy but make you feel loved just the same. I was My De's first grandchild and I spent a good portion of my life living with her. That parent who thinks their child is perfect? That was how My De was with me.

For the past few weeks I have been back and forth to Texas, spent the last week of her life with My De and been through a memorial service in a town I hoped never to go back to. The whole thing has been a bit surreal. I have felt like I have been cast in a play or TV show that someone forgot to give me the script to. I've just felt a bit out of step, a bit off. Things that would normally worry me haven't really upset me as much as they normally would and the things that would usually make me ecstatic just haven't affected me as much. I was able to speak at her memorial and I will always be glad I did. To say I love My De doesn't cover it. I adore her. She was my best friend and my confidant. She was someone I could call up and tell her anything and know that she would still love me. That's a precious and rare thing and I know how blessed I am to have had that. I was glad I spoke about De as I knew her, not some person other people made her out to be. My De was spunky and full of fire. She was a pistol and hard to handle and proud of it. She was far from the stereotypical grandmother and that's part of what made her so special.

So now I am back to my "normal life". Things are going along, I'm working with my foster cats, working on bringing others in, doing all the things I'm supposed to. I keep thinking about grieving. Have I done it? Am I doing it? I'm honestly not sure. In some ways I feel like I have been grieving off and on for years, since she first became sick. I had times of being so angry this illness was happening to her and times where I would cry so hard blood vessels would break in my face. Maybe that's why I haven't cried as much as I thought I would after the fact. Maybe it's because I'm not ready to mourn and will do it when I am. I'm not sure.

Since being back home I have found comfort in an odd place: Soap Operas. Well, one soap opera precisely. When I was 12 I was home schooled for a year. I can't say that year did much for my academic life but it did give me and De a chance to start watching Soap Operas. There were three we liked, two of which have gone off the air, but our true love was one in particular: Guiding Light. Over the years I got busy and stopped watching, though I always had a soft spot for it. Last week I found myself watching it again and thinking about De. The funny thing is the couple we watched all those years ago who was in such romantic turmoil is the same one I am watching now. Josh and Reva are still star crossed lovers who we all know belong together but there are obstacles in their way. De thought Josh was so handsome (Eh, not really my type.) and she always liked Reva (She rocks in my book.) Alan's still there causing problems and I read today that Philip will be back next year. For an hour a day I watch GL and that time when De and I would lay on the bed in her room and watch the show together doesn't seem that far away or that long ago. Maybe it's because it struck me this year that there are shows I'll never get to watch with her that she would have loved. (She would have loved to laugh at Bones and would have thought David Boreanaz was good looking. And One Tree Hill would have drawn her in. I know she would have been a Nathan fan just like me.) It may seem silly to mourn over shows you can't share but it's not the shows so much as the sharing. It's something we always did and sadly can't do anymore. But with GL we can in a way. Soaps really don't change much over the years and theres a comfort in that, especially now. I feel closer to My De when I'm watching GL and it makes me feel better. That's priceless for me. So for now and the foreseeable future, I'll be getting my daily dose of soap. It's an hour out of the day that's just about De and me, just like old times.