My next loss was my Grandpa Mario. We watched him wither away from cancer, in six weeks. When I went to therapy last year my counselor and I worked through those few short weeks. It had been five years and I was still haunted by his pain. Before Lindsay knew what it felt like to bury someone she loved, but After Lindsay knew what it felt like to bury someone she loved after she watched him suffer. I was doubly changed.
Three weeks before I gave birth to Elise, Grandma Virginia left us. I also worked through her death with my counselor. I had watched my Grandma mourn my Grandfather since the cancer claimed him. I was the last person to see her alive, and I had a gulf of guilt to swim through. I never knew grief, like I felt when I was pregnant. Before Lindsay knew loss and suffering, After Lindsay knew loss, suffering, and bone deep grief.
Three months ago I watched my sister bury her husband. Before Lindsay knew loss and grief but it never felt unnatural. The day we laid that boy in the ground was the day this After Lindsay was born. Your grandparents passing is a normal, although painful reality of life. Christian dying hasn't felt natural. There's no pamphlet they hand out: "How to Deal With This Crazy Fuck-Uppery Volume 2: How to NOT Become an Alcoholic." There's no one to tell you if you should stop asking your sister if she's ok or not. Who explains to you why you want to grab strangers and shake them while you tell them about how alive he was? Which person can explain why the posed pictures of him don't make me cry, but the one where he has a sombrero and sunglasses on made me cry for an hour? Why did I lose a friend, but find my best friend in the midst of this? Who the hell has the answers?
Why was driving away from my sister at the grave today so incredibly hard? So hard Bob and I wept as we drove away. To see her standing there alone...but not really. Because he is there, arms around her, keeping her close and safe.
I'm almost thirty, and I've lost four beautiful people. I am: After three losses and a fourth devastation Lindsay. I am: Learning to Live In This Skin Lindsay.
Four holes in my heart that will never be filled. Four people I loved, four people that shaped my world. Four people that no matter where I go, what I do, I will think of them and smile. My grandparents left me thousands of memories. My sister had six years of joy and happiness. My children have their Godfather watching them from heaven.
Love never dies.