Friday, January 7, 2011
Having a Sense of Humour is key
Since the death of my grandmother, I've expressed myself in only two ways. Well three if you include annoyance but for the time being I'm going to skip over that one, it's really only 'lazy anger' anyway. So, for a couple of days I've either been laughing or ranting. And I should point out that neither of these reactions are ways of dealing with my grief! I am not sad. It is a good thing that my grandmother has FINALLY been released from the dismal suffering that was her life for the past two years. In fact I don't understand how anyone that has spent any time with her this past year would be anything but happy for her. It was terrible and heartbreaking to watch the progression of her illness unable to slow it, let alone stop it. It is the time to celebrate the life she led. To enjoy our memories of her. And to be thankful that she was and will always be a part of us. But because we have a few 'gems' in our family, this time of saying goodbye and celebration is made all that more stressful! So stressful, in fact, that you MAY stomp around the house. Or you MAY curse a blue streak. Or you MAY head out to the shed for a claw hammer and shovel, oh and don't forget the handy tarp, you wouldn't want to get any blood on the upholstery when you're transporting the body!!!!!
So between angry murderous rants, I find the humour in all that is happening around me. The anxiety-driven quirks of my mother and aunt. The hopeless indecision of my uncle. The stupidity of family in times of stress. And how is it that I do this, you ask? The humour that I speak of is very dark. Very dark indeed. Not many people would appreciate such humour but it suits me just fine. I'm always saying inappropriate things. Or pointing out the awkwardness of a situation. Or perhaps drawing attention to the things that should go unseen or be unknown.....
My grandmother had a Lazyboy recliner chair. She loved this chair. She spent many hours sitting in this chair.
For 15+ years she had owned this chair. Now I don't know if you know this but old sick people are dry and flaky. As in they have very dry, very flaky skin. It's not something that can be helped. It's just the way things are. Well my grandmother, God bless her, was dry and flaky to the EXTREME. We accepted this fact and moved on. Today we had to remove grandma's chair. So my uncle and I took it to a donation drop-off center. Him and I are standing at the back of his truck and my uncle is inspecting the chair for damage and stains. These drop-off places are getting picky with what you give them nowadays. So he's looking and there's some food staining on one arm rest and some chocolate milk stains on the other arm rest. Grandma loved her chocolate milk. Then my uncle made the mistake of quickly brushing his hand over the front of the seat and top of the leg rest, sending up plumes of dust, and says "Ugh couldn't this have been dusted?!" In horror I simply said "Stop that..."
My uncle was confused and asked me why and my response was one he was not prepared to hear...
"That's not dust, it's grandma skin."
Immediately I thought of Tom Cruise in the movie War of the Worlds when the aliens first emerge from the ground and start vaporizing people. His character runs home to his children and runs into his bathroom and looks in the mirror and sees he is covered in soot. And realizes that he's actually covered in people. That same look appeared on my uncle's face and all I did was laugh.