Circle of Life

Two weeks ago today, my grandmother passed away. I’m 24, and the only person I’ve ever lost was a great-grandmother I didn’t know well when I was 9. I cried my heart out. I slept four hours that night, and the following morning I packed a bag and went home to be with my mother and brother, as my dad was 600 kilometers away, with his dad and brother, dealing with everything that needs dealing with when someone dies. I turned into a zombie who wore sweatpants and didn’t shower for days at a time.

It’s been two weeks since my life changed forever. Someone I love, is no longer in my life, and is never going to be again. And for the first time I’m experiencing this in a way that doesn’t involve boys or boyfriends. For the first time, I’m experiencing losing someone who actually, literally, cannot come back into my life. And my heart is broken in a way I didn’t even know was possible.

We drove down for the funeral. The funeral took place, so did the memorial get-together afterwards. Then we drove back. I slept 11 hours, and spent another day being a zombie.

Last night, I returned to my apartment, for the first time in almost two weeks. I dealt with heat and air circulation issues, the fact that my roommate moved out while I was gone, food that needed throwing out, and then I went to bed, cuddling the little plush polar bear I’ve loved for as long as I can remember but was never allowed to take home because he had to stay with my grandma. This morning, I got up and went to uni. I went grocery shopping. I came home and changed my bed sheets, did laundry, dusted surfaces, watered plants, and cleaned my room.

I declined an offer to visit a friend, to do this stuff. I love my friend, I love her apartment, and her boyfriend who always makes us food, but I haven’t been home for two weeks, because I was home with my parents. I’m using the word “home” about both the house I grew up in and my apartment for more than four years, because they’re both homes to me. The house is where I go for comfort, where I can be the child again. The apartment is where I’m an adult who has to fend for herself. It’s nice to combine the two. But I can’t take one or the other for too long at a time. I guess it’s a part of the circle of life. Sometimes I need to be the child who cries herself to sleep with a 30-year-old teddy bear clutched to her chest. Sometimes I need to be 24 and dealing with university and grocery shopping and cleaning. I count myself fortunate, to still be able to fluctuate between the two.

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