It’s been a crazily emotional two days for me.
First, my grandfather’s condition is getting more and more heart breaking. The prognosis for him to recover his mobility is very poor, and he’s been suffering from cuts and a particularly bad permanent wound as a result of lack of care from the hospital staff.
I know how scared he is of pain and needles and how the greatest blow to him would be losing his mobility and speech – and all of the above have happened. I’ve tried to be as positive for him as possible the past three months but I can feel my smile starting to slowly but surely crack. So many times when I see him wincing in pain I cannot help but break down in tears too – because all I can do is to helplessly hold his hand and sing to him or pray for him with the hopes that he can feel how much I love him.
I know that if he could speak to me, he would tell me that he wished he were dead. I know that with absolutely 100 per cent certainty and it kills me to know he feels that way and I can’t do much to help him. I feel guilty for eating dinner with my friends, I feel guilty when I think of how sad I get going to the hospital, knowing how much worse he feels.
I’ve been trying to deal with it as rationally and with as much love as I can – because I know that what I am going through is also a kind of grieving and I need to learn to handle it properly to make sure that my Grand dad and I have the best possible memories and as meaningful a relationship as we can. I write down all the days I go to see him, what we do together, and all the progress he has made to tell myself that there is a purpose and a meaning and, even if I cannot understand it, a reason why God is making us go through this.
Yesterday was particularly bad for me – I was down with a fever and exhausted from flying back from Seoul and the cold weather, and I went to the hospital only to be told that my grand dad had sustained even more cuts on his leg and large, red sores. They told me his wound was slightly infected and his stroke leg was contracted, meaning there’s almost no chance of him ever getting to walk again.
Last night, as I sat on his bed with my wonderful wonderful helper Yati and K, holding my grand dad’s hand and trying to sing Be Not Afraid to him, I felt my heart literally break for him, my chest hurt and it felt so sore and raw it was like every wound that I have nursed and tried to heal since my grandmother passed away has opened again. Watching a loved one suffer with the knowledege that you cannot do much to alleviate their pain is the worst, worst feeling in the world.
And today, I missed my flight to LA to meet my family for our USA trip. The flight was for 9 am, but my sleep deprived, pain addled brain kept thinking it was 9 pm even though I checked the paper repeatedly.
When I realized I had missed the flight and could not get on another one for two days, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I miss my family so much that it’s not even funny, and the last time I was on a proper trip with them was 7 years ago. This trip had been my motivation to stay positive and optimistic for the past two months and I was so angry and so sad that I literally sat under my blanket and cried like a baby. Loud, inconsolable sobbing that got K so frightened that he started to tear too. Tears for my grandfather, tears for the times I have felt so alone, tears for my guilt, tears for missing Disneyland with my sister, tears at my inability to handle myself and my life.
Tears of anger at myself for not being a good enough grand daughter, wife, daughter, Mama (to Benjy), daughter-in-law, and friend.
And tonight, I don’t even have K to be my anchor. He’s flying off right now as I type on a work trip to China. My wonderful sister in law has offered to send me for my early flight on Saturday and that definitely helps but I’m so emotionally unstable and vulnerable right now the smallest things are triggering floods of tears and I don’t know how to stop.
So far, Claire and M have been working overtime to keep my time filled, from lunch today to a doggy date tomorrow so I won’t be alone on a Public Holiday and I can’t start to say how grateful I am for so many people in my life who are there for me when I feel like I am at the end of my tether.
But tonight, alone, in my bed, with Benjy, under my blankie, I am going to have a good, long, therapeutic and loud cry. I just need to let it all out.