So I’m here, I made it. I’m at my Grandmother’s funeral. I prefer to call it a remembrance. Sitting here in my hotel lobby, I find myself obsessing about how I don’t feel like I should be feeling. As if there is a right way to feel. I worry that I’m not able to experience my true feelings, because I’m preoccupied with my death/anxiety OCD shit. Will I have a panic attack? Will my OCD spiral out of control, rendering me unable to function without enough klonopin to put a horse down? Will my dreams become worse and more persistent? My mind lives in the future, rehearsing potential doomsday scenarios over and over again. I hate the fact that it all comes back to me, and my stupid fucking OCD anxiety bull shit. Why can’t I just feel sad like a normal person? This is the kind of fucked up shit that goes on inside my head.
When I was in to see my therapist last, yes, the same asshole that talks about shoving a cactus up your ass and gold plated vaginas, we talked about my Grandma. In one of his moments of brilliance he was able to get me out of my head, endlessly obsessing about how I’m feeling or how I should be feeling and onto my Grandma. We talked about what it is I loved about her. My grandma was the kind of lady that oozed spunk, even at 92. She had love for anyone and everyone she met. There was not a person who met her, that instantly did not feel like she too was their Grandma. I loved how every time I called her or visited her it was like the clouds had just parted; birds started chirping while the sun shined brilliantly. Much like you would imagine it will look when Jesus returns from his long and much needed va-cay with the bearded man upstairs. I hear resurrecting your self is pretty exhausting. I digress.
Trust me when I say this, very few people get excited about my presence. While I’ve always felt the rest of the world misunderstood me, my Grandma didn’t. My family would give me shit about my beard, or long hair, and Grandma would say to them “let him be”, he is doing what makes him happy and “it don’t hurt nobody. I was always my Grandma’s favorite grandchild. Not just the favorite grandson, but out of the whole lot of us, I was #1. You might wonder. Todd how do you know this? I knew it because she said it. Not just to me but in front of the other grand kids. As I said the lady had spunk, you gotta love that. I’m pretty sure the reason I was #1 was twofold. First I was the first grand kid and second I looked just like my Grandfather.
To say she was a special lady would be an understatement. I loved her so much that I even found myself able to overlook the fact she was a diehard republican and life longer lover of George W. Bush. Hey, I said she was a great lady, not perfect. I loved my Grandma. I loved calling her up on Saturdays in the fall to talk college football. She was a passionate devotee of Joe Paterno and everything Penn State football. How many 92 year old women can talk college football with their grandson? A very select few.
I can promise you two things. First, I will never forget the time we had. Second, I will be a stronger person as a result of being with the last few months of her life. She afforded me the opportunity to face front and center my greatest fears, those about death and dying. My Grandma was a fighter and as a result her death came at an excruciatingly slow progression. Her hospice chaplain believed the only explanation he could give was that Goad kept her around because she still had something to teach us. I believe she was teaching me. Teaching me how to be strong in the face of death. Teaching me about what really matters in life. That being with those you love is of the utmost importance and to always be grateful, very, very grateful. She would say again and again how lucky she was to have had a great life with a great family by her side.
My Grandma would say that 92 was too long to live, of course she had been saying that since about 82, but I was starting to feel that 36 was too long to live. Not anymore. I want to live to be 92 and look back on my life with such fondness and a smile, just like my grandma did the last time I saw her. She was uniquely qualified to be my instructor on life and death. She herself struggled with severe bouts of depression, but she pushed through and became one of the most loving and joyous people you’d ever meet. So I say today, the day we have remember Grandma, I love you. You taught me more than you know. I know now that I stand a greater chance that when I’m 92, I’ll look back on a life well lived. It will be my FU to ocd! Love you Grandma!