NaNoWriMo has become an intense healing process for me. The entire novel has shifted since my grandma died Saturday and I think its better now. Its like a journal assigned by a therapist. It helps.
Here’s a paragraph I wrote today:
You realize that people who call on a regular basis ever only wanted to talk to her, so the phone doesn’t ring with calls from her bridge partners anymore but yet has started to ring more and more, only this time with telemarketers asking to speak with the ‘lady of the house’ and your body gets all these sharp pricks all over and when they call for what feels like the 50th time that is actually only the 3rd, you feel like telling them to go to hell because she’s not here and so you do, and you scream so loud that you spit all over and you slam down the receiver while sobbing because you’re left wondering how to explain to anyone why she isn’t here and won’t get any messages and its only when you figure that out that you’ll plug the phone back in.
NaNoWriMo is always a strangely nostalgic time for me. The post above was written the day after my grandma died, two years ago today. I was in Prague, a week into my novel, and I got the call I knew was coming. Knowing it was coming didn’t help. My brain felt like a big balloon filled with hot air and I felt a zillion needle pricks all over. At the funeral, everyone passed around my cousin’s phone (who had skype) and all anyone could do was sob. We didn’t say anything because there wasn’t anything worth saying. The light had gone out of my entire family. We were in free fall, all 50 of us. We still are in a way, and when we make eye contact and smile we know who we’re thinking about. She was the reason we loved each other so much. She was the reason we even knew each other at all. She is still the reason.
I look just like her, same frame, same small head, same hands, my mom tells me. My cousins saved some of her clothes for me, because I wasn’t able to be there. I wore one of her shirts to bed last night; white white with powder blue stripes. I didn’t remember the date, or the correlation with her death, but when I woke up this morning to a message from my cousin, I realized. I pulled this shirt out of the bottom of a drawer. There was no reason—I just felt like wearing it.
Today, I know the reason. My grandma wanted me to know that she is gone, but she is still with us all.
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