Soooo. What’s been going on, you’ve (totally not) been wondering?
My grandpap died. Right before the world was supposed to end on the 21st, a piece of mine actually did. We got a call saying that Grandpap, who had had a heart attack the week before and wasn’t as stable as we would have liked, had coded and been moved to the ICU after 25 minutes of resuscitation. It was grim news, but the term “ICU” seemed hopeful. “ICU” meant “stable,” right? It meant “alive” for the time being, right? Twenty minutes later we got another call. He was gone. He had coded again and they couldn’t bring him back.
Adding insult to injury, we also weren’t able to make the nine-hour trek to Ohio for the funeral. Between the excruciating hip pain I get when sitting upright for more than an hour at a time, and our fear of being away from a neurosurgeon in case I went into labor, there was just no way we felt comfortable leaving the state.
(By the way, this is the second time one of my grandparents has passed away and I’ve been unable to go to the funeral because I was too far along in my pregnancy. Last time, with June, my granny died when I was 37 weeks pregnant and I could barely squeeze my fat ass in the front of the car. So no funeral then, either.)
Part of me is so angry and guilty that I didn’t get a chance to properly say goodbye. During the funeral and the days leading up to it, I repeatedly would text every member of my family who had made the trek to Ohio, just asking what was going on, who was there, what was happening. I just so badly wanted to be part of the grieving process, the family process, and I couldn’t be. That made it hurt more, believe it or not, and paradoxically, it also made it easier. If I had actually seen a body, I would have been devastated. If I actually had to go back to Ohio and smell those familiar smells and see everyone in my family crying, I think I would have cried so hard I would have puked. I shy away from suffering (who doesn’t?) so in a way it felt like a reprieve. But it also felt like a knife in the gut. Who knows what it’s going to feel like when I have to go into Ohio next, with nearly all of my grandparents dead and a good deal of family moved away. It’s going to feel like a graveyard. And I’m dreading it.
My small act of atonement for not going to the funeral is to name baby Henry partially after my grandpap, Jed, whose real name was William Paul (a name that so does not suit his goofy nature, but a name I really like nonetheless). So this week when we see Henry on the ultrasound screen, we’ll be able to address him by his proper name: Henry William Paul Wisniewski.
Sounds perfect to me. I hope Grandpap is holding him and keeping him in the meantime.