Thanks for this: I lost two grandparents this year (until January I was lucky enough, at 25, to have all four still here), the second only a month ago. I'm struggling to see a way forward through Christmas and New Year, which have always been times for us all being together- it's good to know that sometime soon I'll be able to celebrate their part in the way we spend those times and maybe get rid of this heartsick feeling.
@every tomorrow@twitter I've been following this thread ever since the story went up here: I'm a long time Hairpin reader, and never commented before. BUT my grandfather died very suddenly a month ago, the first of my grandparents to die (I'm extremely lucky in that regard: I'm 25), and I've really been struggling with people's reactions to it. I'm heartbroken, and agree with the commenter who said, "I MISS HIM". I do. I miss the emails, and the gruff answerings of the phone when my granny wasn't nearby, and the advice on restaurants 50 years gone... oh, I miss him so much. And I talk about him, and I can feel people I'm talking to suck in their breath as if they don't know how to respond, so I feel as if I'm shouting into a void about this man, who I want the world to know about and talk to me about and value the way I did, and do.
I know this is away from the topic of the article, which is brilliant and beautiful and devastating all at once. But the one thing my selfish, grieving mind is shouting is that people need to talk honestly about these things, and let those of us for whom it's a new and open wound talk about it too, as and when we want to/can. Everyone in this thread, and the rest of the comments, and Jenna most of all, are incredibly brave for just standing up and saying "I'm not okay. And I'm not going to be okay for a while." Most of all, it is NOT okay that the way we deal with death- the not dealing with it, if you like- silences that dialogue in normal life.
What I'm trying to say is, thank you, Hairpin commenters: everything you've all said here really helps. I'm so sorry for everyone's losses, and thank you. Thanks. (And I'm also sorry for this mini essay.)