while up in L.A. for my yoga therapy training, some unsettling news about my grandma's health emerged:
the cancer has spread into the brain and her time with us on earth was coming to a speedy end.
as life goes, it was convenient that i was in L.A., without anyone else, allowed to spend 3 evenings with my grandma sans interruptions.
after this news and some time with her, i wrote the following in my journal:
She said, "You're so beautiful...my first grandchild!", as she cupped my face with her full, warm hands. Her face lit up like a child's on Christmas. It was difficult to contain emotions and thankfully it was dark enough to mask the sadness on my face. My grandma Ana is dying. I suppose you could look at life as a continual preparation for death, no matter the age, but there comes a point when you say someone is 'dying' which connotes pain and suffering. To actually say the words aloud gives me a foreboding jolt. When I saw her today, my first inclination was that she really was dying. I suppose the image of her lasting forever was in fact proven wrong. She couldn't get out of bed. She can't eat. She sleeps all day. She's lost weight. She's dizzy. Her voice is completely altered.
I sat outside in the brisk, ocean air for a long while. It's always shocked me how dark it is when you leave the light of the house and venture out into the stillness of night at that house. I made a few phone calls that eventually led me into a slurry of tears. I could not control it.
A day full of physical opening, followed by the reality of my grandma's imminent death has left me sapped of all emotional strength. I sobbed all the way home and emptied myself of as much pain and resentment as I could. It felt good. I keep coming back to the divine irony of my training being her in L.A., at the time of my grandma's greatest need and at a time when I prayed for space. As I sat outside the house tonight, peering in through panels of glass, noticing all the nuances of their eclectic house, the photos, art, books and statues, I could feel death beginning to rest upon the house. There is no more soul in that house. Sadly, I think it was gone long ago. I stared at the gentle strands of tiny leaves on the pepper tree that we got married under. I thought of all the other weddings and celebrations that took place in that same lush place.
Where did it go?
And I realized that I just have to let go. Not just of this house and all the memories it holds, but of my unbelief, my resentment and fear. It serves me nothing.
I've been basking my whole life in the shadow of bitterness.
Even my grandma said it tonight, that I was not a happy 3 year old. That makes me sad. Really sad. But i'm not 3. I'm not 6. I'm not 21. I am right here, at 29. If I continue to harbor all of those 3 year old emotions, my adult self will never actualize adulthood. I am my own prison guard. But I am also my own liberator.
I can drive down PCH a million times, and recollect exact spots where life memories were made, and continue to try and grasp the shifting sand of memories from childhood. It's a fruitless endeavor to always be living in the past. So I shall try to be right here and be OK with that. I may have been a sad kid, but I don't have to be a sad adult.