I had a complete breakdown today. A struggling-to-breathe-between-my-sobs breakdown. I watched the latest episode of This Is Us today. If you haven’t heard of the show or have never watched it, you should. It’s really great and there’s at least one aspect of the show you’ll be able to identify with. Just have a box of tissues handy. I’m serious. You’ll be crying almost every episode.
Alas, I digress. In this week’s episode of This Is Us, Rebecca mentions that the happiest moments of her life are also a little bit sad because her late husband isn’t there. That’s when I lost it. I mean, I was cognizant of this reality regarding my grandmother, but today was the first time the entirety of this fact hit me.
If I get married, my grandmother won’t be there. If I have a child, my grandmother won’t be there.
Then I started thinking about some of the happiest/proudest days of my life. When I graduated from law school, my grandmother was there, telling me how proud she was of me and that I didn’t let her down because I “did what I said I was going to do.” When I got my first real legal job, I called my grandmother on the phone and screamed, “I got a job!” She said, “Oh, thank God!” I’d been looking for work for six months and was starting to get really discouraged when I got a job from a phone interview.
When something really great happens to me, I know I’m going to want to call her and I can’t. In This Is Us, Rebecca said that experiencing joy with a little bit of pain is just how it’s going to be for the rest of her life. Again, cognitively, I knew that, but I fully realized it today.
I will be grieving my grandmother for the rest of my life. That’s the hardest part. It will never be over.
I’m nervous about how I’m going to feel this Thanksgiving, on my birthday and this Christmas. I’m nervous about going back to my grandmother’s grave now that her headstone is there and the spot has been covered with grass. The last time I was there, there was just a little card with her name on it and dirt.
Next year, I’ll somehow have to find a way to make it through Mother’s Day, the anniversary of her death and her birthday. Her birthday was about three weeks after she passed away, but I think I was still too numb from her passing to feel the full weight of celebrating her birthday without her.
Even though I was crying so hard today I could barely breathe, I knew I was going to make it through it. Just like I know I’m going to make it through the holidays, her birthday and the anniversary of her passing. This is my new normal and it’s difficult, but I’m going to survive.
In the episode, Kevin tells Kate their father wouldn’t want her to be stuck in the past after his death. He would want everything for her. I know that’s what my grandmother wants for me: everything. So that’s what I’m going to try to get.
I know I’m meant to have a career in entertainment and I’m not going to stop until I get one. I need to be my own boss. I don’t want to feel stifled ever again. It’s hard to work all day and come home and work on your dream, but that’s what I have to do to make my dream come true. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day.
So I’m going to start working on this New Year’s resolution a bit early. I am going to work on my book or look for opportunities to get my writing out there for 15 minutes every. single. day.
Here’s to my dreams and yours. May they start to come true as soon as possible. Our season is coming.