I have found that it can also be difficult to be sad at the nontragic death of a close relative. To be honest, when my grandpa died, I couldn’t tell how much of me was sad at losing him, and how much of me was just sad and stressed out. I mean, I had to get a friend of my mom’s to take over her care so that I could run up quick for his funeral. That my mom couldn’t go weighed heavily on me, as well. It was just a bad time.
But today was, I think, a truer representation. It is hard to be sad.
It is hard to be sad when I know – well, I don’t know, can’t know, for sure – that at one minute, Nana was lying in bed. And the next, she was experiencing such joy that I can only imagine it, and I’m sure my imaginings are so, so pale in comparison to the real thing. Perhaps it was fitting that I was reading the last chapters of the last of the Chronicles of Narnia yesterday and today… and C. S. Lewis’s description of the new Narnia being just… more… somehow… is probably rather fitting, as well.
She was here, and then she was there – in her love’s arms, with God, without arthritis, without the pain that’s been her constant companion since I can remember, without age, with a new, perfect body and surrounded by… I just can’t imagine what.
It is hard to be sad, when I smile at the thought of it. What a reunion they had up there – she and my Papa, and my mom, and her grandson Aaron (my brother). And her own parents, no doubt, my Namie and Toots, whose birthday I share.
It’s even hard to be sad for more than a moment for those of us left behind. My aunt and uncle were, of course, saddened. But my uncle, when asked how he was feeling, replied “jealous.” Ha. And they are both in their 50s, the age at which one is supposed to lose one’s parents… my grandparents had long, full lives. They saw much, experienced much. Their deaths were not tragic, they were just the end of life.
And if I can take a minute to talk about myself – on top of the Christian joy – there’s also the fact that I think I’m incapable of experiencing emotion related to death any more. Of course, incapable isn’t the right word. Unwilling or psychologically protecting myself might be closer.
Also – though I don’t have my nana’s fingers (as my cousin does), or really any other physical resemblance, considering that I’m not genetically related – I am proud to have spent countless hours learning how to paint at her side, and also learning how to make pictures out of pancakes. I lack the skill Nana showed when we were little, and have to stick to basic shapes like cats and dogs instead of the detailed tractors with farmers and corn, but perhaps by the time I’m a grandma…