It has been approximately 2 months since my Grandmother passed away. My Aunt and I were talking about the length of time, and whether it felt longer, or shorter than 2 months. Truth is, there are times when I feel like it's been a few years, and other times it feels like it's the day she passed. I know that kind of feeling won't go away. Her death has affected me in ways that I didn't expect. There is the usual sense of loss. I've said it before, she was my best friend. I spent more time with her than with anyone else, over the last few years.
The biggest emotions I feel since she left are great happiness, great sadness, and a feeling of detachment. The last one being the one I didn't expect to feel, even though a big part of me knew that I would become detached.
Let me explain something. During the last few years I sacrificed a lot to take care of my Grandmother. I went back to school, but I could never take a full load of classes because I worried about her being at home all alone for the majority of the day. I passed up many things in my life because I wanted to help her. At the end of all of it I don't regret a single thing I did for her. That is a powerful statement, because throughout most of my life I have always had some sort of lingering regret about nearly everything I have done. But not when it comes to my actions concerning my Grandmother. I could tell that she gave up so much for me, and so I felt that it was only fair to give up things for her. It was a partnership, a unique one.
One of my Aunts commented that I was closer to her than she was. She said to me, "I, being her daughter, should have had the closeness that you shared with her." That statement pretty much sums up my relationship with my Grandmother. She told me that I was like the son she never had. I will take that to my grave as the single most loving saying, and biggest compliment, anyone bestowed upon me.
When she passed away an enormous piece of my life died with her. I had invested so much in her, that I found her absence left not just a gigantic pain in my soul, but a colossal hole in my life. I now find that I have no life without her. This is where the transition happens.
Now I'm here, finding my way through this life on my own for really the first time. Part of me wants to go back to when she was around, and she took care of me. But I know that's impossible. Another part of me feels that it is time to go all out, not look back, and just grab life by the neck and squeeze. The two ideas are opposite of each other. One is safety, perhaps in a past that I can no longer return to, but could live through personal delusion. The other is the here and now, taking what comes.
My new attitude is to put the past in the past, and not look back. The future is what counts, and worrying about things I can't change is foolish. And so with those thoughts in my head I find another thought, that detached feeling I spoke of earlier. That detached feeling pertains to those around me. I can honestly say that there are times when I couldn't care less about anyone around me. During those times I care only about myself, and the hell with anyone else. I hate that I love that feeling so much, because it truly means that I am detached. Yet, since I became a Buddhist, I have searched for that moment when material possessions are meaningless. And for the moment when I finally don't care, and I'm free. Free from pretension, wants and desires, and completely unencumbered.
One of the lessons I've learned is that you can't count on people. The only person who was the exception to that rule is now gone. Everyone else has now become someone who will eventually disappoint me. Therefore, I think it's better to remain detached, and not burden anyone else with the unattainable reverence I feel for my Grandmother. No one else will come close to her. She was completely unselfish with me, and I with her. There is not a single person on this earth that will equal that with me. I know now that everyone else will never be quite as close, never really get inside of me, nor will I care for them like I did for her. I think that's for the best though. I don't want to be devastated when someone disappoints me, because they ALWAYS will.
So the transition continues, for better or for worse. I'm optimistic, I feel that these changes will be for the better. If you don't think they are, I honestly don't care what you think. That's just how things are now, and I feel completely content in this transition.