I started a draft for this post back in December after close friends lost their mother. I never came back to it because I wasn’t sure exactly what to say or how to finish it. Today, I write through my own grief. Today, I can finish this because I now have a deeper understanding of the emotions and the state of mind after a loss.
I’ve been blessed in that I haven’t felt the loss of many close loved ones. When my grandfather, my mother’s step-father, passed away when I was thirteen, I used writing as an outlet. He was the man that taught me how to ride a bike, to draw, and express myself creatively. Back then it was poetry and some really cheesy fanfiction. I cringe looking back at some of the things I wrote prior to and during my “scene kid” phase of healing, rebelling, and blasting screamo. I can tell you that in an African-American household it caused some issues and concern.
Early this morning, my grandpa, my mother’s father, passed away. I hadn’t been able to sleep so I was awake when we got the call quarter to three. As we sat in the nursing home waiting for the funeral home, I got the urge to write. It felt ill-timed so at first, I didn’t indulge. After some time, I opened the “Notes” app on my phone and wrote a poem.
It was bad, it didn’t rhyme, there was no flow, but it helped for a time. In the midst of the tears, I was still creating. In the midst of loss and death, I was producing a new thing. My brain was bringing my attention to things that made me smile.
I’ve gotten three hours of sleep in the last 24 hours and it’s going to be a hard few days, but I’m blessed to have a love and passion for a skill that allows me to express my thoughts, get lost in a different world, and make those I love immortal.
Rest in peace, grandpa. I love you.