Grief is such a powerful emotion. When most think of grief, I think we assume grief with tears, sorrow and mourning. But its much more than that– it’s anger, it’s pity, it’s sympathy, it’s worry, it’s….numbness….and I guess that’s what I am feeling right now. Numbness. Not sure how to react or reach out to make the appropriate gestures to my loved ones…

My Pawpaw is dying. A week ago he was told he has brain cancer….Tuesday we were told it had spread and while treatment might prolong his life a bit, it was too far gone to be cured and given his age, they weren’t even sure if his body could survive the treatment. Other than that, there wasn’t much that could be done for him other than to make him comfortable….

My grandfather has been a big part of my life. He and my grandmother were there for me when everyone else in the world had shut me out and left me on my own…I lived with them on and off many times…..he babysat my son when he was a baby….he gave me away at my wedding……he’s a good, good man.

So when he decided to go home for hospice care, both my aunts took control and jumped in to make sure my grandmother was looked after and transported back and forth to the hospital while he was there. They have stayed over night, helped set up his equipment at home, and been there for my grandmother to rely on while she herself struggles to accept what comes next.

In an odd way, I suppose I am like my mother when it comes to how I handle grief….I don’t. I can’t process past the shock. Shock of knowing something that everyone on earth already knows as a fact…we all will die one day.

No one wants to think about the day when their loved ones time has come up, but sooner or later, we all face it.

Am I wrong for not wanting to see him like this? Is it wrong to hold back my tears and to take time to tell him just how much he has influenced my life? I don’t think I could handle it. I don’t want him to see my sadness. I’m afraid it will make him anxious and scared. I’m afraid my grandmother–the strongest woman I know–will break down. She will need to lean on us. And that has always been the opposite.

What do I say to him? Do I take my teenage daughter and 20 year old son to see their grandpa in this state? I’ve never experienced this type of loss in all of my thirty nine years here. And I am grateful for that–but now, now I am an adult and I am supposed to know what to do….but I don’t…. I really, truly don’t.

I want to extend help and to be there for what they need but I guess the word I’m looking for is…..I’m scared.

Is this normal? To standoff during times like these? To recluse back to my self and stay out of the way? I absolutely have no idea what to do next.


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