Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Warning heart spillage ahead.

First the good. This is what I am wearing.


*sigh* and here is the reality.

OK I warn you this isn't going to be a light and fluffy post. I was crying when I wrote this so excuse me if it goes astray (ah even in my tears I am a total smart ass)

You've been warned.

Today it has been six months. Six months since the man who raised me, my pop (grandfather) passed away. I was already in tears at 8:15am this morning. My friend and coworker said "why is today any harder than yesterday or tomorrow? Why does the time matter" I don't know but it does. It is a neon sign in my brain and it won't stop flashing. 180 days. I woke up and lived my life 180 times without my pop. I miss him so much. I can crying at my desk right now. This is insanely hard for me because I DON"T LIKE TO CRY. It isn't cathartic to me. It isn't something I am allowed to do in my family. Even now at 31 my father yells at me yes YELLS. Stop it Hillary get it together.  He said that the first time I cried in front of him a MONTH after pop passed. I had held out from crying in front of my family until then. Pop was the patriarch of our family. HE WAS IN CHARGE. That is just how it was. No one questioned it. (well my dad and uncle did by being wise as screw ups) how about this I didn't question it. Gram and pop took on their stereotypical roles. Gram cooked, pop ate it. Pop paid the bills, he dealt with eveything. EVERYTHING. The day after he died I assumed the role in command. I started pulling out the papers and I sat in the middle of the living room floor and read every single piece of paper he saved for 53 years of marriage. I organized it all, put it in files, wrote what it all was. I did it because I knew no one else knew how. As a few days passed my dad assumed the role of THE ONE IN CHARGE. He didn't want to do it you could tell. He wanted to just let me keep doing it but I am 80 miles, a state away. Legally there were too many issues so he is doing it all. Which is good, he should, he is eldest son. I am the only girl. I could of done it but it was breaking me down. I went from being the grand daughter whose pop moved heave and earth for to the one calling the car insurance company and fighting with the asshole on the phone. HE IS DEAD take him off the policy! AH! But 6 months on a lot of that is now squared away. My dad handles the daily stuff and I step in when she needs me. I balanced her check book last week. She had it to within a $1.20. I told her how proud I was. She went from never dealing with a single bill to keeping a checkbook balanced. She didn't think she could do it. She can. I knew it and now I think she is knowing it.

I had lost people before but never someone close to me. This has been 6 months of growth, pain and understanding. I am understanding who I am. I am learning what and WHO matters. I have lost a great deal of friends these past 6 months. I am not complaining. It is just a fact of life. People come and go and sadly it takes utter and sheer heartache sometimes to show you who really matters. In my moments of weakness I have reached out to people only to have them ignore it. I don't need them. Simple as that. (Or so I am telling myself) I also have become closer to others. My friend S. While we talked daily before now she is the one I go to when in the middle of the day I am crying because I smelled pop in a stranger. I have learned so much more about gram and pop. I've spent hours and hours sitting and talking with gram. Learning about their marriage and life together. Learning about my uncle w ho passed before I was born. Pop never talked about him. Now he is buried with him. He will keep him company. I have made me routines and it had brought Dave and I closer. I've let him into my brain and thinking more. I usually bottle my sadness up and sit on it until it hurts. But I have told him my irrational thoughts at 2 am when I can't sleep. It brought me closer to my mom. I don't think I am telling too much to say my mom and I weren't the closest the first 30 years of my life. We were too alike and way too close in age and generation. We were the clash of the titans. But that has changed. We are now closer than I could ever of dreamed of. I called her 5 minutes after I got the call about pop and said "I need you here NOW" she got on the computer and was on a flight 8 hours later. While there was nothing for her to do, she was there and I needed it. It was so mind boggling to have my mom and my dad in the same car driving on the same roads I grew up on. They broke up 27 years ago. It taught me that I could ask for help (It is one of my biggest faults. I don't ask for help. I am stubborn and self sufficient. So I say) and she was there. Telling me when I needed to eat a sandwich and giggling with me at the funeral seeing some long lost relatives and friends. I also learned how much people love my family. People came out the woodwork. There were  unmarked cakes and pots of soup on the doorstep. Food keep showing up and no one ever took credit. I know why people give food because the grieving family doesn't think about food and if it weren't for all those donations we probably wouldn't of ate anything. At one point I joked I really could go for something sweet and ding dong no joke a box of pastries was there 5 minutes later. I hope that I can be that person for someone else. Having received it I know how much you appreciate it.

I have moved past the angry stage and the sheer and utter reality has hit me. Only now 6 months on. Yesterday Dave said "it finally hit huh?" knowing that up to know I was in kinda denial. I was just angry and didn't want to admit to it. I still have some thoughts that take my breath away. Such as pop will never meet my children. That one hurts the most. Having pop in your life was like having a guardian angel.He was named pop because of me when I was learning to talk. But EVERYONE called him pop. I mean everyone. My friend, my dad's friends, casual acquaintances. Once pop had grandchildren he stopped being Bob and became pop. It was how he identified himself. I even put pop in the obit and for the funeral. No one knew who Bob was but everyone knew and loved Pop. It was standing room only. There is nothing he wouldn't do for me. Nothing. I was his only girl, his sweetheart. In a weird twist of fate I saw him the day before he died. He said "thank you for coming to see me sweetheart" and I hugged him and KNEW it was the last time. I knew as I let go of his warm strong hand it would be the last time. I didn't say anything to Dave because I thought he would think I was crazy. Hell I thought I was. I know some are wondering. Did we know he was going to die? No we didn't. He was 100% healthy with no health problems, wasn't over weight, weighed what he did when he was 17 in the navy and he has a heart attack that killed him instantly in the middle of sweeping. There was no way I could of known that day. I was supposed to be a baby shower that day but instead went for a drive with Dave and stopped in to see them. We didn't even tell them we were coming.

As shitty as I feel right now. This was cathartic. I apologize for those who are uncomfortable. I warned you. I am real, I feel. This isn't a shiny fashion blog where I just show you my clothes. This is my life, these are my emotions. While I do not share a good portion of my real life sometimes I just need to say something out loud. This was one of those times. I know there are a ton of grammar and spelling mistakes but I am not going back and editing this.


Marley said...

Hi Hillary,

I'm a new reader, and don't usually comment on blogs, but I had to on this post. I identify a lot with this because your Pop sounds just like my Papaw- the man who held everything together. Papaw died almost ten years ago, but I still miss him terribly, and feel his loss keenly. I cried for him as I read your post. I cried for you too, because I know how hard that loss is. I don't really know what is comforting to say, because you'll always miss him. I guess one thing is that we're each lucky that we had someone like that in our lives- I'm so grateful for the time I had with him. And don't feel ashamed of crying- I know you said you don't like it, but sometimes it's what your body and mind need, even if you don't want it. Tell your dad to stuff it if he doesn't like it. He doesn't get to dictate your emotions. You have every right to grieve Pop in whatever way you need to. No one else can decide how that will work for you. I know that we're just internet strangers, but I wanted you to know you weren't alone.

Bridgett said...

i'm glad you shared. hang in there. i lost my dad when i was 17 and 11 years later it doesn't hurt less but it hurts differently.

hillary said...

It means a lot thank you.

hillary said...

bridgett I am so sorry.

Jess said...

Reading this made my heart hurt all over again for you and your Gram. It also makes me so mad when people try and police other people's grief, like because X number of days or months or years have passed, you're not allowed to be sad or miss someone. That is crap. He was your pop, you're always going to miss him and be sad that he's gone because you loved him so much.

PS If you need to vent, just shoot me an email.

Melissa said...

Oh Hillary. Don't you apologize for spilling your heart on your blog. This is YOUR blog so you reveal (or keep secret) whatever you want to.

First...your outfit is really adorable. I love the polka dots with the electric blue. You look really cute.

Now that that's out of the way...I'm so sorry that you're feeling this so strongly right now. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it is because while I've lost people close to me, I'm not you and can't possibly understand the closeness between you and your pop.

It sounds like an incredible relationship, one that you clearly didn't take for granted and poured your heart into. I am sure that he knew just how very much he meant to you and you are HONORING him in how you're making sure your Gram is taken care of.

I'm thinking about you and praying for you today. Please let me know if there's anything I can do - albeit virtually and/or electronically, but don't hesitate to let me know!

Between Laundry Days said...

A million hugs, dear Hillary. You know I love ya.

Iris said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

hillary said...

Iris and clare. thank you I appreciate it a lot.

melissa and jess thank you. I might take you both up on that!

Lorena said...

Oh Hillary I wish there was something I could say.
It's hard, after reading your post I began to cry too
( i'm at work!) because I totally feel you.
My grandfather who passed away 8 years ago was THE MAN in my life. He passed away 3 months before my wedding and like you, I sensed it. I know what you mean. I remember trying on my wedding dress in front of my grandmother and grandfather and thinking "one of them will not be at the wedding, but I want them to see me in the dress".
It will never stop hurting because there is love involved and too many things and years shared together.
Consider yourself blessed for his presence in your life. Many people do not have the blessing to not only have a grandfather but a REAL POP like you did.

david said...

i love you and i'm sorry. so very sorry.
i go between feeling it's ok and things will be alright to feeling angry that he left us too soon to feeling sad about the simple things. he won't meet our children, he won't see my thesis project, he won't be there on a random thursday because we have a question about the car.
ugh. i have never lost someone so close and i only knew him for a short time. i can not even imagine what you are going through.
remember the good times and never forget the fact that you were so very special to him. he adored you and was so very proud of the person you have become.

diane starkey said...

I've been struggling with some similar feelings lately too. I lost my dad 8 yrs ago, he killed himself. The anniversary is coming up really soon. I always dread this time of year - it brings everything back. Being 24 and making funeral arrangements... so many strangers went out of their way to help me. I'll never forget that.

Its true what Bridgett said. I wish time made things better. But it also helps to focus on what's positive in your life and the ones you love.

You're totally allowed to be sad for as long as you need to be! Hang in there, take care of yourself, and you look super cute, btw!

Andrea said...

I haven't lost anyone close to me, but I feel for you, and from what I've seen your reactions and their timing are (as has already said more eloquently) quite normal. Loving deeply is not something to "get over" just because that person is gone, and I don't doubt that by putting it into words publicly, you've helped others.

Megan Mae said...

Lots of hugs and love, Hillary. It's rough. I'm very sorry for your loss. You do what you need to on your own blog. We're here to lend a listening ear.

Tizzy said...

I'm so sorry for all the pain you're going through. Please know that your readers love you (even those of us who never comment). Take care!

Tizzy said...

I'm so sorry for all the pain you're going through. Please know that your readers love you (even those of us who never comment). Take care!

Heather said...

This post and Dave's comment have brought tears to my eyes. There isn't a single thing I can say but believe me, if I was there I would give you a hug and a smile of sympathy and understanding and hold your hand while you cry.

Verhext said...

Ugh, I know, I know. EVERY DAY is like a knife since my grandma passed in December, especially as we get closer to the wedding. It's unreal and so terribly, terribly real at the same time.

I'm glad you have Dave for support, and your mom!

Lacey said...

I'm sorry for your loss Hiliary. My husband lost his older brother to cancer earlier this year (leaving behind his wife and 5 kids), and my Grandpa doesn't have much time left either, he also has cancer. It's been tough on us. I do say this -- I know you consider yourself very lucky to have had a close relationship with your Pop. I wish I would have had the same relationship with my Grandpa, but we have never been close, mostly for distance he didn't really know me. I have seen him maybe 10-15 times in my life. I went to see him a few weeks ago because I knew time was running out. It was not an emotional visit, but knowing it was probably the last time I would see him, I'm glad I made the effort.

If you need to cry, cry. Who cares what others think. Some people repress their emotions to the point that a breakdown will inevitably happen.

You are honoring your Pop and his memory by helping your Gram and keeping his memory alive by the wonderful memories you have of him. How lucky you were to have him in your life! :)

Louise said...

Hillary, thank you for pouring yourself out on this blog... I am so sorry for your loss.

I never knew any of my grandparents, and there is still a pang when I hear others talk about how much their grandparents mean to them... You don't know how much I want that! I wish I had known my grandpa. I think it's wonderful that yours meant so much to you, and how you are helping your family.

hillary said...

Thank you everyone so much. It warms my heart and comforts me that people read, pay attention and understand my rantings.

I do understand also what it is like not to be close with your grandparents and how lucky I am for gram and pop because I do have another set that I am not close to nor have a relationship with and it is hard and strange. I haven't talked to one of my grandparents in 13 + years. Dave wasn't close to his either and it was very different when they passed away.

Thank you so much each and everyone of you.

mamichan said...


my family is anti-crying too. my family still makes fun of me for a crying jag i had over 15 years ago. and i think it's totally normal for you to rant about this. it's really hard to lose someone close to you. my good college friend died nearly 3 years ago and i still think about him all the time. i got super mad at some college friends a couple of months ago b/c they were talking about what an a-hole he was. didn't seem fair to say that when he can't even defend himself now.

curlyred said...

I'm very sorry for your loss Hillary, losing someone loved is total heartache and i thank you for sharing, it isn't easy. Sending you the warmest and happiest thoughts.

La Chula said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing. Hugs to you cause I know I needed a hug today

HollyElise said...

I'm so sorry Hillary. All I can do is send virtual *hugs* and healing *mojo* to your heart.
Thank you for sharing, I'm crying with you.

*more hugs*

Steve Sparshott said...

Oh, man. Hi.

I remember when you wrote about him six months ago. It was awesome. Clearly he was awesome. As some folks have said, it's so great that someone like that was in your life - but that makes his absence harder to deal with. I'm sorry.

S x

Jodi said...

Thanks for sharing this, fashion is so much more than the fabric or leather we hang off our bodies. I appreciate your sharing this, it makes a difference in that there is always something that can resonate with someone else and even make a difference.
Hope you have a peaceful evening, j

Anonymous said...

What a great post... I lost my Grandma in May under totally different circumstances - we were happy she wasn't in pain or confusion from alzheimers any longer.
Still I will get overcome sometimes. Sobbing in the car because I drive past a yard sale or having several days where I just feel like life is "eating me."
Just know that you are not alone and welcome to spill your heart anytime!

Sharon Gaye said...

Your post was beautiful and made me cry. Then when I read Davids comments I lost it again.
Your Pop sounds like he was a really nice man. I'm sorry you didn't get more time together. This weekend I will have an icecream cone in his honor.

hillary said...

Sharon pop ALWAYS stopped for ice cream. :)

Thank you everyone.

McKristie said...

I am soo very sorry - and I can't say anything regarding your grief, but I have a suggestion regarding the actual date. I am a very date oriented person (numbers in general) and I have had similar responses on certain dates.

A friend suggested to me that instead of remembering a date as something of sadness to remember it as something of a celebration. So maybe instead of seeing the day as when he left you, use it to your advantage and to celebrate his life - fix his favorite meals, write down or discuss wonderful memories of him, and celebrate all of his wonderful life instead of marking that day as when he left.

I am rambling now, please take this as something attempting to be helpful from someone who's heart goes out to you. Not as any judgement of what you are feeling. Sending hugs as well...

hillary said...

Mckristie. Thats wicked helpful! As you say I am a date person. I get fixated. Thanks.

kendra said...

Hearing you talk about your pop makes me sad that I didn't have a close relationship with my grandparents. They didn't really "get" me and so as I grew up they made less effort to try. When my first grandpa passed away, I was too far away (on vacation, no less) and couldn't make it to the funeral, and my dad actually told me I shouldn't come. When I cried for my Pappaw, I actually cried because it wasn't important enough for me to be there, and how sad that I didn't have that relationship with him.

It's so special that you had such a great relationship with your pop, and you can always hold those memories with you. You know that he helped to make you who you are, and you are learning about yourself and how strong you are after his passing. I love Mckristie's idea about how to celebrate the dates. I also think it's so special that you can grieve for him and memorialize him on your blog. Some of this process hurts like hell, but it is all important to go through. As you've said, you've learned a lot and seen relationships change over this 6 months... what a blessing!

I'm praying for you, Hillary. ::HUGS!::

hillary said...

Kendra YOU are the reason I have a site at all! I dream in blue back in college triggered my I wanna be like Kendra side! 8 years later here we are. You were the first customer ever back when byhillary was a Tshirt store.

♥ Shrinking Kenz ♥ said...

You are an incredible person who is strong and tough and beautiful. And I'm seriously honored, as a reader and blog friend, to know how you really feel even on days when it's hard for you to share it. You're human, and you suffered an immeasurable loss. And I wish I could hug you now..because I'm a hugger. Just saying.

Robin said...

Hi, Hillary...I've been reading your blog for awhile, but have always been WAY too shy to ever comment. I know, it's a jerky thing to do- I apologize. This post, though, has brought me out of the woodwork and it's brought me to tears. This your blog, hon- spill your heart as often as you like.

I can relate completely (having lost my geepaw a few years ago) and I know how tough it is. It's strange not physically having him around to hug and laugh with. I wish I could say it gets easier, but I suppose that depends on the individual. It's a tough thing. I spout out tears just by passing by my grandpa's favorite sandwich shop. You have people who love and adore you, just as your Pop did. And, I agree with McKristie: maybe celebrate something wonderful instead of thinking of the sadness?

I may be a stranger, but you absolutely have my love and thoughts.

xoxo, Robin

Kristen said...

Oh, Hillary, I am so sorry you are in so much pain still. Getting over a huge loss like yours is not easy, and unfortunately, it never really goes away completely. My grandmother raised me much like your Pop did you, and even though she died over 20 years ago, remembering her feels like a punch to the gut sometimes. But there are also plenty of other times when I can think of her and smile fondly instead of cry, so it does even out.

Hang in there.

tigerteacher said...

Reading your post it is clear how great a loss you have had of someone you loved so dearly. I am very sorry.

Dave77459 said...

6 months. Doesn't seem possible.

There are few good things about death... you have to go looking for them. I hope you see how much you are loved. People brought food out of love. You have memories of a packed funeral. Dave loves you. In a way, the comments on the blog reflect long arms of people hugging you. Your mom came as if by magic.

That doesn't replace Pop in your life, but it is something that you can reflect on daily.

I'm a day late on the blog, but you're in my thoughts today.

Sheila said...

Oh, hon, you don't need to apologize for this. It's posts like this that make the people in them REAL - it's what makes you YOU.

My dad died 13 years ago yesterday...I remember it every year. I miss him so much, but it's a little less painful every year.

You sound so full of love for your pop. I'm so glad you have this post to look back on and remember. *hug*

hillary said...

thanks again everyone. I reread these a few times now. I really appreciate each and everyone of you. More so since my real "friends" yeah haven't said anything.

You all are so sweet and I wish I could make you all lemonaid.

jungleworldcitizen said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! :(
And I'd like to remind you that reading about fashion is no fun at all if we can't see the essence of the person behind the outfit.
Thank you for sharing your essence with us. I hope your heart heals and that great memories of your grandpa remain with you for comfort.

Hugs your way!

DanaElayne said...

My family is very anti-crying...oh, if I had a nickel for every time I was told to "dry it up!" Well, I'd be rich, but that's neither here nor there!

I lost my Papa when I was 7 years old and my uncle when I was 18. It doesn't get easier, but you know it does become different. It sounds like your Pop is the kind of man who just thrilled by the woman you have become...he watched it happen!

So here's to crying and ranting and to missing and is what makes us human!