I noticed the same thing a couple of years ago when it had been 30 years since my grandmother passed away. I didn’t ponder it because Chloe had just died (Chloe died on December 2, 2017 and my grandmother died on December 6, 1987). I thought the proximity of the events led to my sadness, so I didn’t evaluate my feelings. I was too much of a mess after Chloe’s accident and didn’t have the mental energy or foresight to “get it.” This time my mind is clear, and I see why it’s bothering me.
Nobody remembers my grandparents. Clarence and Lorene Lybrand are just names in our church history, but to me they were a significant part of my childhood. It’s been a generation since they passed away, and the world has moved on without them. Heck, the entire world has changed since then. It’s not just the people that are forgotten from that time. A lot of things have passed into memory, never to return. I remember a sermon our pastor preached a while back about dying two deaths in this world: the first physical death, and the second death in memory. I think that’s why this 30 year mark is hitting me hard, as it did with my grandmother.
I’m grieving their second death.
Of course, I remember them. My parents do, and maybe a handful of other relatives who are still alive. But the truth is that most of the people who knew them are also gone from this world, and nobody knows who they are. Granddaddy is why I love birds, and probably a big part of the reason I’m a writer – but nobody knows, or cares. Nobody knows who he was except what I or my family tell them. It’s impossible to understand the significance of something when you never knew the person.
It is what it is, and there’s nothing to be done for it. Rick hit the same funk in July, when it had been 30 years since his own grandfather passed away (it turns out our grandfather’s died 3 months apart in 1989), so he gets it. I think perhaps that both of us passing this milestone is what clarified it in my mind.
There’s nothing about this that makes me special. Everybody deals with grief, and I’ll deal with it like everybody else must. I’ll go to work today. I’ll get my flu shot. I’ll come home, and have supper, and finish laundry, and on the daily routine goes, as if it’s just another day. I guess it is. Memory doesn’t change today’s reality. It’s October 23, 2019. If I’m lucky, that’s all it will be – or perhaps it will be better. Lord, feel free to bring me a best seller with one or more of my novels, or even a jackpot win. Just not worse, please.
It helps to know that I remember – even if few others do. They might have died both deaths to this world, but they won’t be completely gone while I still grace this rock hurtling through space. Heck, a part of them will outlive me through my writing (especially through Splinter). In the meantime, at least I know he’s in Heaven with all those who have passed before and, most likely, with Chloe sitting on his shoulder.
It’s my blog, and I’ll whine if I want to. I can do that here today. I’ll bet there’s some level where you can relate. The reaper is no respecter of persons. It comes for everybody, and we deal with grief until the reaper punches our ticket. I’ll try not to think about that too much, unless it’s from a perspective of writing my next novel series. Ugh. It might be a night to watch some Seinfield or That 70’s Show reruns to lighten up and get into a more positive mindset tomorrow.
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great rest of the week.