To all of you who commented on my last post and sent lovely emails, thank you. I appreciate you bringing my pain into your hearts and sharing yours with me.
It's been four weeks since my grandmother died. I wish I could say that it's getting easier but it's not. The pain just tastes a little different with every passing day.
Have you ever cried for 30 days straight? Ugh. I never had. It's awful and exhausting. I long for that day that breaks the chain. Maybe I'll feel like myself again. Maybe look like myself again. Thirty days and nights of crying = a puffy, red, damn mess of a face. **Vain sigh**
And yet, amidst a month of such intense sorrow, there have been moments of incredible joy. Funny how that happens in life.
I've spent countless days and nights with my mom, remembering together and trying to forget together. Mourning and healing together. Best of all, just being together. We've become closer than ever. I didn't think that was even possible.
I also started a BFD new job. Spent 10 days away from home onboarding at the company headquarters in San Francisco. Didn't think I'd be able to make it through the first day, let alone 10 days. But I did. I learned that I'm stronger than I think...and that strangers can be kinder than I tend to think.
I also watched my best friend get married...just two weeks after her fiancee's dad died of cancer. Heartbreaking. I never dreamed her beautiful day would be tinged with so much pain. I feel closer to him and to her and to their families than ever before. Like our two tragedies have tied our souls together. Like a bow on a gift.
And finally, I celebrated Mr. Diabolina's birthday. I've spent 17 birthdays by his side. But this year was the most special. I've never been more grateful that this beautiful man was born.
There are no words for how incredible he's been in the last 30 days. To me and to my mother and to everyone around us. He has always been my rock. But through all of this, his love and patience and strength have been my North Star.
I'll never forget all the little moments. Stroking my hair in those awful moments as she lay dying in that hospital room. Standing by my side as I picked out her coffin in a daze. Propping me up as I gave her eulogy because I was convinced my legs might give out. Encouraging me to start the new job as scheduled, reminding me of how proud she would have been, reminding me how proud he is, reminding me that I can do anything. Calling my mother every day that I was out of town. Having a beautiful dinner ready for me when I finally returned home.
A few days after my grandmother died, my mother broke down in his arms. She could barely speak but, as she clung to him, she managed to tell him, "You're the best thing that ever happened to the two of us." No truer words have ever been uttered.
I've been wearing mostly black since my grandmother died. Haven't been particularly interested in fashion. Haven't felt like me.
But for Mr. Diabolina's birthday, I made the effort. I bought a new dress, a red dress. It is the color of love and passion and life. It was my grandmother's color.
And that day, it was my way of celebrating the man I can't imagine my life without.