Grief is a Strange Monster

I was working on a series of posts covering the highlights of #sfs17, the Twitter account for my clit @ClitstaAnne, the amazing panel #sfs17bodies, a mock workshop on how to craft a 30 talk by the seat of your pants cause you kinda forgot you were presenting, awesome times with wonderful people.

They are all drafts in different stages of completion, all things I want to write about, but Thursday afternoon my Grandma died. A lot of my summer, almost all of July, I was doing end of life care for her with my mom. She was 94, her body was simply breaking down. Lots of little things that had her fading fast. All of Sunday at the summit was lost to an epic migraine, Monday morning I woke to pack up and discovered that my Mom and Aunt has rushed Gram to the ER. Pneumonia and singles. Part of me know she wasn't coming home, but I wasn't ready for the call.

Cause you're never ready for that call. I'm lucky that I had her for the first 35 years of my life. She knew all of my children. She saw me stop fucking up and making my own weird life. My Dad missed all of that. Mae counted as one of my parents. Lived with her for most of my childhood, she was a powerhouse of a woman who taught me feminism, civil engagement, sex education. She is why I'm me and I do this. It's in my blood from her. She spent years driving across Milwaukee doing home school for "unwed teenage mothers" so they could get a diploma. She hid marriage and pregnancy to finish getting her degree, doing post grad with sick toddlers at home.

She fucking survived polio.

She was endlessly proud of me, forward thinking and tolerant. She introduced me to her friends who are a gay couple as like any other couple, in the midst of the AIDS crisis. She was very active in the Methodist church, but have no fucks when I became a pagan as an adult. She only cared if you were a caring person.

I'm unmoored without her in the world.

If you follow me on Twitter you've seen me talking about what a strange monster grief is. I've lost so many people in my life, recently even, but this leave the hole that my father's death did. I know it was weeks until I was semi okay and functional from his passing, talking years that I didn't constantly think about it. My relationship with Gram Mae was less complicated but more loving. Deeper and more fleshed out. I've been saying I didn't know how is react to the actual news and that's all true. I think I'm still in shock.

Grief is a strange monster. It's unpredictable and crushing. I'm deep in it.

I need to be working, I need to be looking for more stable employment, I need to be writing again.

I need better waterproof mascara.

One of the most annoying things about me, too me, is that when I'm upset enough I should be saying something, I can't make words. PTSD says RUN at emotions that are too strong. When I'm unmoored. So words sick in my throat and I twitch while my brain is burning down. Mental illness is super fun. Grief is a strange monster.

Eventually I'll be okay, nothing has knocked me down for good yet, but okay is far off and I'm not going to hide that. (If you'd rather not see that for whatever reason, I'm keeping those tweets #strangemonster. Mute away.)

For now, I'm respecting my sadness as much as possible while also trying to keep my head above water. I put on makeup that says otherworldly and vaguely threatening, put on galaxy pants and a hoodie dress.take it until you make it doesn't work here for me, it is so what you can to keep moving and let that be a success.