WUTTD (wuttd) wrote,

my grandma

I gave my grandma a farewell pat on the head.
They say funerals are for the living.
I was alive. So this funeral was for me.
But the funeral home
had applied hairspray to grandma's head.
And that made her hair hard, less bouncy.
Less eminently pattable.
Less bouncy. Like her.
She's different now.

Maybe it's time to grow up.
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Personally, I don't think that dealing with death means you need to grow up. In fact, I think that when dealing with death I am as young as I am capable of being.

Oh, and you don't know me but I am being nosey on Noah's journal and noticed your comments.
How young are you capable of being? In what context did you have to deal with death? (if you don't mind my asking...) Why do you want to be young when dealing with death? Maybe because people who died are usually old people, who've had quite enough aging for the both of you. I guess being young would be intellectual and emotional rebellion against the circumstances? What happens when the person who died isn't an old person? I just came from looking at the latest list of people who died in Iraq. Especially their ages. Very few old people. The oldest people I ever spotted would be this staff sergeant in his 50's and this lieutenant colonel in his 40's. I'd ask you who are, but really, there's no way for you to give a non-trivial answer in less than a few decades of life and just as many reams of paper. Do you actually have a few decades of life with which to give the non-trivial answer? Reams of paper are cheap - everyone can get that.
When I really try hard I regress to pretty young, sometimes around 4-5. Most of the time when I regress without conscious thought I end up being about 8-9. During my lifetime I have had my granfather die of a stroke when I was about 11, but I didn't really know him and his death honestly had minimal impact on me. However, when I was 16/17 my brother and father both killed themselves. It was related to a long string of rather awful situations in my family and the whole event was very traumatizing. I have dealt with those events as a little (my way of refering to myself when I age regress) primarily because it also allowed me to heal from a lot of abuse that happened when I was young. As a near adult I was alienated and distant from my brother and father and their deaths had minimal impact on me. When I react from the point of view of the child I was who was badly hurt by them and who needs the closure it is very positive to experience that letting go and grieving.

My brother was only 21 and his life had been more or less over for 9 years due to a car accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury. His death was about the most futile and awful death I can imagine and he barely had a chance to live at all. My father... that is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. I didn't react that much to my grandfathers death and I don't know what to think about it. He had a good long life and it seemed like his time. He was starting to be feeble and that was making him very angry.

Who am I? I'm a girl. I'm a young girl and an old woman. I am confused and lonely and determined and strong. I am an outcast and a nexxus point. It may be trivial, but the best way to say who I am involves pointing at the impossible dichotomies that make me up. I am an English teacher who can barely spell. The thing is, I'm not sure I know who I am entirely. I know who I was at various snap shots in the past but I don't think I am truly capable of seeing all of the things that I am right now. I need those decades to explain me just because I won't have the perspective to see me until then.

And the school district gives me paper.
That's a neat metaphor - English teacher who can barely spell. In a way, we're all teachers of something that we can barely do ourselves. If only because as we begin teaching it, we also begin questioning and seeing it from a slightly (or not so slightly) different and mysterious point of view. Then again, maybe that's not a metaphor. Maybe you really are an English teacher. In which case, you probably have standardized curricula that you teach from. Or do you? (One of the best teachers I ever had was an English teacher who didn't seem like he was teaching from a standard lesson plan. But that's a different subject for later, maybe...)

And your brother being in a car accident - that's a little rougher of a metaphor. But maybe that's not a metaphor either. I can relate to its non-metaphoric reality. I was in that same situation myself, when I was not much older than 21. In fact, I was going cross-country with a stop in California to visit Noah. The driver of the car lost control, ran into a grove of trees at high speed, and we all ended up pretty bad. For me, it was a coma for a month or so with pretty severe traumatic brain injury. The doctors pretty unanimously declared my life over too. But here I am.

Maybe Noah already told you all this. If not, ask him, if he remembers. Does Noah still have that little Noah goatee? If he does, maybe he'd be willing to stroke it thoughtfully in that "Hmm...very interesting..." kind of way while recounting the story of our near death experience and miraculous rising from the dead.

I think all this talk of death and abuse calls for some ice cream. Pleased to make your acquaintance!
Well, I am actually an English teacher. I used to be able to spell better. Now I question myself into mistakes because I am more aware of just how many errors are running around out there. We have "standards" that we have to teach to, http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/enggrades11-12.asp but that isn't the same as having a set curriculum. I teach pretty much what I want. I'm given a little bit of guidance, but not much. At times it is overwhelming to have that much freedom in what I am going to teach because it is enormous responsibility! I don't want to mess it up!

Also not a metaphor. He and I have talked about the accident. I have heard about the end results for everyone in the car. He still feels guilty. I'm glad that you are continuing to try in the ways that my brother couldn't. A TBI is an awful thing--I've spent years of my life hanging around in hospitals full of such injuries--but sometimes you can find a way to live with it and not let it rule your life. I don't know if you have done this; I hope so though.

Ice cream sounds good. Thank you for suggesting it.
"I don't know if you have done this"
I don't know if I've done this either. I need a few decades to know...

"I hope so though."