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Marissa Lingen

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Still do not approve. Still am not resigned. [Apr. 28th, 2011|06:20 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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In the last few months I've developed a new problem.

It's not that I've forgotten my grandpa has died. I could never, ever forget that. But I make a lot of verbal slips these days. I will be listing who was at Easter dinner and say, "MommanDad, GrandmandGrandpa--no, no, just Grandma." Or I will say, "The folks and the grands--Grandma, the folks and Grandma." This hurts like crazy every time I do it.

And when I get tickets for us to see a play or a concert or something, when I see how many there are, I have a moment of irrational panic because there isn't one for Grandpa.

And I know it's Grandpa there isn't one for. That's the crazy stupid hard thing. If I was forgetting that Grandpa was gone, I would think, "Oh no, I didn't get enough!" rather than, "Oh no, I didn't get one for Grandpa!"

I think what's going on here is that Grandma has now lived up here awhile. My brain is not going, "Hey! It's Grandma!" all the time. Things are now in some sense normal again. And hey, my subconscious totally knows what normal for my family of origin looks like! It's me. Mom and Dad. Grandma and Grandpa.

Sigh. I simultaneously want to stop doing this and do not want there to be a new, grandpaless normal. But it turns out the universe did not ask me.

[User Picture]From: jenett
2011-04-29 01:09 am (UTC)
Oh, argh, yes. I am familiar with this problem.

(You'd think that after 20 years, moving half way across the country, etc. I would not suddenly see someone who looks like my father from behind and want to run up to them. However, I do. That said, mostly, it takes a really really clear cue for me to do it now - seeing someone who looks like him from the back, hearing something very like his voice - rather than just random daily stuff.)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-04-29 02:01 am (UTC)
One of the things that living in California rewrote for me is that I started--completely without realizing it--using head, neck, and shoulder shape to recognize people a lot more. Not sure why, but it happened around then...and then it was a colossal PITA to move home, where a startlingly large number of guys have my father's head/neck/shoulder shape. And my dad is alive, so it's merely mild confusion rather than having my heart torn to bits when I see someone who triggers my sense of "dad" from a distance and behind.
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[User Picture]From: batwrangler
2011-04-29 01:11 am (UTC)
The universe is very inconsiderate sometimes: we should not have to learn to live without our loved ones.
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[User Picture]From: miz_hatbox
2011-04-29 01:42 am (UTC)
I know this phenomenon far too well. It sucks and I'm sorry about it.

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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-04-29 04:19 am (UTC)
Yah. I got him 30 years. That's never going away. Even if I lose my memories, the parts of me that are shaped by him are pretty built-in by now.
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From: athenais
2011-04-29 06:47 am (UTC)
Turns out the universe was born in the space equivalent of a barn, really. So rude. Never asks.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2011-04-29 09:05 am (UTC)
FWIW, it took me about five years to stop mentally tagging things to tell my father next time we speak on the phone. I still have things I wish I could share with him, but mostly now I don't expect to. Mostly (at 13 years).
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-04-29 12:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, the phone conversations. Oh yes. Grandpa and I had a habit of reading things out to each other from books we were reading when we talked on the phone. I haven't stopped marking the passages mentally, or noticing when I come upon the ones he read me in his books. It's one of the very hard things.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-04-29 12:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, Alzheimer's is so awful. I had a friend whose grandmother was in advanced stages of Alzheimer's dementia when her husband (also my friend's grandfather) died. And the family finally stopped telling her, because she had the same fresh horrified grief every single time. So she would ask where he was, and they would say he was with family, and then she was content--and no more likely to remember that she'd been told that an hour ago, a week ago, a year ago.
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[User Picture]From: ashnistrike
2011-05-01 02:33 am (UTC)
Oh god - that. I've not had to deal with it in anyone I loved, but I've seen it in patients. Even in a stranger, it is uniquely awful. In a loved one, I cannot even imagine.

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[User Picture]From: reveritas
2011-04-30 04:41 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I'm sorry Mris.
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