Do you guys remember the episode of Grey’s Anatomy where George’s father dies? I know, most of you probably hate Grey’s Anatomy and are now judging me for how often I reference it – but whatever. I have a point to make.
In said episode, George is outside trying to reconcile the loss of his father when Christina (the girl with no empathy) comes out to talk to him.
She tells him that there’s a “dead dad club” and “you’re not in it until you’re in it”.
George just kind of looks at her in bewilderment because it’s not exactly the most comforting thing to say to someone in that type of circumstance, but then she ends the speech by telling him sincerely that she’s sorry he’s in the club.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot.
At age 26, I have never lost anyone. I have lived for over a quarter of a century in a cozy bubble devoid of any real loss. I’m very lucky to be able to say that, and I know it.
But it’s for that reason that I’m having such a profound experience coming to terms with my grandparent’s illnesses.
In that same episode, George says that he doesn’t know how to exist in a world without his dad in it.
Many would say that it’s harder to lose a parent who is still in the prime of their life than it is to lose a grandparent who has lived 87 wonderful years on this planet. The younger someone is, the more unjust their death seems.
But for me, the idea of losing either of my grandparents is so much more than the passing of time – it’s my introduction to loss, to the finality of death.
I honestly do not know how to exist in a world without my grandparents in it.
They have been one of the only constants I’ve ever known. They have always been together, they have always loved me unconditionally and they have always been the happiest people in my life.
Their recent suffering has caused a huge shift in the way I see the world.
I guess, to put it simply – shit just got a lot more real.
While I have managed to find a certain sense of peace in the matter, I am still having a really hard time navigating this experience. I don’t know the right way to act or the right things to say. I don’t know how to deal with it without seeming selfish or like I’m overreacting.
Today we find out the results of my grandma’s biopsy (there’s still a chance she doesn’t have cancer) and we find out how far long grandpa’s cancer is and what our options are as far as managing his pain (he has chosen not to have any treatment).
I spent the morning chaotically working and checking off long-neglected to-do list items in order to try to get my mind off of it, but I can’t really deny the implications of this day.
One of the biggest “shit just got real” dilemmas I’ve been having is facing the struggles I’ve had with my faith for several years now.
This post is already long enough, so I’ll sum it up as quickly as I can:
I didn’t grow up with religion, but fell into it on my own in my early teen years. I was a very devout Christian during that time, even though some of my family didn’t necessarily approve. Then my parents divorced, I moved to college and turned into a hot mess and kind of “fell from grace” – if you will. Since that time, I’ve struggled with doubts and shame and have never really been able to reclaim the faith that I once had in God and Christianity in general. I believe in God, but I don’t believe I deserve his help.
I know that “grace” is there for everyone, but it’s not that simple for me. I can’t just believe I deserve it.
So, while everyone else is talking about prayers for my grandparents – I’ve found myself unable to wholeheartedly join in on that effort. I try to pray, but I don’t feel like I deserve to ask anything of God.
It does comfort me that other people with stronger faith than I have are praying and I know my Grandma has stronger faith than anyone else I know.
But I still feel this weird void when it comes to that natural place of comfort you turn to in times like these.
Most people turn to religion in times of sorrow, whatever that religion or form of faith may be, but I just can’t fully get there.
I’m hoping that as things progress, I’ll be able to put all the pieces together and figure out what I believe. I hope, more than anything, that my grandparents find an ultimate peace.
My grandpa has said that he knows where grandma is spending eternity and “hopes that God grades on the curve.”
I guess I can only hope for the same.
(I know I said I wouldn’t write depressing posts anymore, but you guys said I could, so I did. Also, I know talk of religion is awkward. I apologize if I offended or just deeply annoyed anyone.)