Thursday, July 31, 2014

With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair...


I was in my neurologist's office, talking about the increase in my migraines. She hemmed and hawed and finally said, "Michelle, I think you're depressed again."

Something about chronic pain and depression feeding off of each other, blah blah, and all I could think was, I KNOW, I've been here before, but I got better. Aren't I still better? Plus, my psychiatrist seems to think I'm okay... But all I could really do was start crying and say, "It's been a really bad week."

It didn't seem to matter; she said I was as dysphoric as she's ever seen me, so now I have to go to therapy again. I hate therapy - my secrets are perfectly fine hidden down deep where they belong.

...

We buried my grandfather almost two weeks ago, right next to my grandmother, in our family cemetery in Blackwater, Kentucky. It was humbling, to see the number of people who drove 180+ miles from Louisville to a tiny place that's not even on the map, a holler in the Appalachian foothills - all to attend the graveside service for my grandpa.

I heard several people say it at the funeral home, but I always feel like I said it first - Popa was the best man I've ever known.

You couldn't ask for a better legacy than that.

...

Popa's oldest son and I were in Popa's hospital room when the nurse came in and suggested we should start calling people. Pretty soon we had four more in there, plus our preacher. It was so crowded, and I just wanted everyone to leave - all I could think was, is Popa somehow hearing all this noise?

But there's really no tactful way to kick your own family out of the room.

So we waited, and Popa's breathing got more and more shallow. There were conversations going on around us, but my eyes were glued to Popa's chest - as long as he was breathing, he was okay. I noticed my brother doing the same thing. 

My brother and I clash a lot. We're extreme opposites, and also extremely similar, sometimes.

My grandpa's breathing stuttered a few times, which I had read was normal. The Hosparus wing that my grandfather was in was such a helpful, wonderful place. They let us know what was happening and what to look for, every step of the way. We were prepared.

Then, Popa took a breath, and then half a breath, and then he didn't breathe again.

I wasn't as prepared for it as I thought I was.

44 comments:

  1. Michelle, you are grieving. In returning to therapy, you are doing the right thing. It's a contact and guidance we need sometimes. My condolences to you and your family on your loss. I am impressed by your strength, the effort and thought contained in your post. There is great love and devotion in the events you describe. My best wishes and admiration.

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    1. Thank you so much, Geo., I really appreciate it.

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  2. Sorry to hear about your grandfather. It takes to time and you have to grieve indeed, But with such a wonderful legacy left behind, clear he had a great life.

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  3. Michelle,
    I'm sorry about your Popa. I'm sure you are glad that he is next to your grandmother. I'm not a fan of therapy either, but you've been through a lot. Can't hurt, right?

    I'm glad you're back here.

    :-) Susie

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    1. Thanks so much Susie...it did help, knowing he wasn't in pain anymore, and that he was with my grandma again.

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  4. I've never gotten over my grandfather's death.

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    1. Yeah, I'm still grieving for my grandma, and now my grandpa's gone too. I can't believe I've lost them both now.

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  5. I'm sorry for your loss, Michelle. Boy, sounds like a well-loved man. We should all live so well.

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    1. Thank you so much. You are so right, he was well-loved.

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  6. My condolences to you and your family Michelle. I am glad that he was surrounded by loved ones at his time of need.

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  7. Sorry for your loss. May his soul rest in peace.
    God bless you, Michelle ;)

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    1. Hi Raj, thank you so much. God bless you, too.

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  8. Aw, Michelle, I'm so very sorry to read about your grandpa. My heart breaks for you.

    One of the things I do when I'm down with a migraine is watch comedies. I'll be damned if that lack of serotonin is going to wreak havoc on my brain. Blasted migraines. I hope they ease up for you.

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    1. Hi Elsie, thank you so much. I do feel like my heart has broken.

      I hadn't thought of that - that's a really good idea to watch comedies thru the migraine. I'll try anything! Thank you!

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  9. I am so sorry to hear about your Popa - I wish I could send you hugs and a smile that heals. But know that there are those whom you haven't met, but hold you in their thoughts. xx

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    1. Thank you so much for this, even though my response is months late.

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  10. Oh man. I've been there. Nothing can prepare you for that moment. It's so tough to lose someone you absolutely adore, but I've got a post up for you today, Michelle. At least, I think it will help. Chin up, it get's easier.

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    1. Thank you so much, Crystal. I'm going to try and hunt down that post today. I've missed months of stuff. :(

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  11. Sorry about your grandpa and get all the healing you. It's hard when we lose the people we love.

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  12. Grace
    I just recently returned to writing posts after taking off most of the summer.
    What a heart feeling picture of you and your grandpa. We never are really prepared for that last breath, no matter how much warning we have. They will always be with you in remembrance. Mine are although they died many years ago. I hope by now, you are free of migraines.

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    1. Thank you dear, I appreciate that so much. :)

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  13. I know I commented forever ago, but somehow the blogosphere swallowed it. I know that moment intimately, Michelle. Nothing prepares you for it, even if you've been through it before. You just have to hope you'll see them on the other side. I hope you're on the upswing again, and if not, here, take some cheese. =)

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    1. Crystal, thank you so much again! It's my shame that you made two comments before I could publish them and I am so sorry! But I appreciate you so much.

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    2. LOL! Life gets insane and busy all in the same instant. When you said you were back, I thought maybe you put up a new post. No worries. I'll have to pop in when that miraculous day hits. ;)

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    3. I'm so glad you came back! I'm trying really hard to come all the way back, too. Thanks so much for being here, you are awesome!

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  14. So well described I am reminded of a few of my own bedsides.

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    1. Thank you so much for coming by and commenting, I'm sorry it took me so long to respond. I will be by to visit!

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  15. Michelle, you are in my thoughts and my continued hopes for your renewed company.

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  16. Replies
    1. Geo., I've missed you, and thank you. I need to come back.

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  17. Hi Michelle. I was thinking about you recently. I posted another Satanic Chicken, and I remembered that you said that nobody in Kentucky you would charge $6.66 for anything. That they would subtract a penny to make it $6.65.

    Anyway, I hope you are picking up comments. Feel free to email me if you'd like. I hope you're okay.

    xoxo
    Susie

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    1. Susie, you are so awesome and I am trying to come back. Miss you!

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  18. I hope you return to blogging someday :) we all miss you.

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  19. The way you write is such flowing. Keep writing. http://www.bellofpeace.org

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    1. Thank you so much, that is such a nice thing to say.

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  20. Michelle, I returned to your excellent site this evening and was overjoyed to see your replies of May 9. They impressed me as a gift. Thank you. Take your time, heal. I'll be here, such as I am --and will remain so.

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    1. Hi Geo., thank you so much always for your thoughtful comments, you have no idea how much they bring me up. I truly appreciate it.

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