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How Do You Grieve From A Distance?

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My Grandmother passed away this week.  

We were incredibly close and I credit her to influencing me as much as my own mother did. She gave me a sense of grounding, humility and strength I would not otherwise know. 

It’s a logistical nightmare trying to get to the funeral in New York, in the middle of winter, with a toddler. As a family we have decided I will stay put and my Mother will come to us as soon as she can.

So here I am. In Australia.Trying to grieve.

Funerals are difficult but they allow us to process the loss, say goodbye, and give ourselves the memory of closure. And I've never wanted to be at one so badly.

I want to walk into my Grandparent's house like I did when we lost my Grandfather, hug the first person I see while fresh tears spring up and legs weaken. I want to be able to experience the smells one last time. I want to cry and laugh with my relatives and pick at meals the neighbors drop off.

I want to see my grandmother’s still face as she lays in a carefully-chosen suit, to touch her papery soft hands, and to feel my brother’s suited arm around my shoulders.

I’m not really sure how to do this from here but I’ve been working on a eulogy and it’s helping a little. We are going to try and Facetime some of the wake and funeral which is odd but comforting. Maybe these things will help me to say this trapped goodbye.

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35 36 37 38 Kangaroo Spotting: How Do You Grieve From A Distance?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

How Do You Grieve From A Distance?



My Grandmother passed away this week.  

We were incredibly close and I credit her to influencing me as much as my own mother did. She gave me a sense of grounding, humility and strength I would not otherwise know. 

It’s a logistical nightmare trying to get to the funeral in New York, in the middle of winter, with a toddler. As a family we have decided I will stay put and my Mother will come to us as soon as she can.

So here I am. In Australia.Trying to grieve.

Funerals are difficult but they allow us to process the loss, say goodbye, and give ourselves the memory of closure. And I've never wanted to be at one so badly.

I want to walk into my Grandparent's house like I did when we lost my Grandfather, hug the first person I see while fresh tears spring up and legs weaken. I want to be able to experience the smells one last time. I want to cry and laugh with my relatives and pick at meals the neighbors drop off.

I want to see my grandmother’s still face as she lays in a carefully-chosen suit, to touch her papery soft hands, and to feel my brother’s suited arm around my shoulders.

I’m not really sure how to do this from here but I’ve been working on a eulogy and it’s helping a little. We are going to try and Facetime some of the wake and funeral which is odd but comforting. Maybe these things will help me to say this trapped goodbye.

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2 Comments:

At March 10, 2015 at 2:51 PM , Blogger Druimé N said...

So sorry you have lost your grandmother Dawn. I love that you say you were close and she had great influence in your life. I have been there also. I found it really hard to grieve I felt disconnected from it all. I lit a candle for my grandmother and wrote a little piece that my sister read at the service. It's little things like you are doing that will help you process. However it wasn't till I did go home and she was no longer there that it actually hit me and was real. So being on the other side of the world maybe cushions you from the grief that everyone else will be feeling. Xx

 
At March 11, 2015 at 7:18 PM , Blogger Dawn Rieniets said...

Thank you for your kind words Drumie. She and I were super close yet I really feel like I dropped the ball these past few years (since I moved to Australia). I kind of always thought I would make up for it on my visits. It's funny, lately I started writing to her more and I'm very glad I did. We were able to Facetime part of the wake and the entire mass and burial service. I even read my eulogy over the phone through a bluetooth speaker. I feel so lucky to live in a time when we have access to such technologies. I'm sure my grieving process will be delayed somewhat by the distance. I'm glad to hear from people like yourself who understand this strange position I'm in. xoxo

 

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