Am I experiencing grief?
It is actually weird because one very big part is that, I don't feel like I know the person of 奶奶 very well. Maybe there is that sadness in there; I will never get to know her like I am knowing my 婆婆 now.
Also, I keep recalling how I really didn't like her at all for most part of my life. Whenever she stayed with us, we shared the same room. I wouldn't really like the smell and sometimes feel like she is a bit dirty. The great thing was, I was really scared of the spirits and ghosts when I was young. So having someone sleeping in the same room with me was a source of comfort.
But really, for the most part, I remember my brother and I even had quarrels over whose turn was it to sit next to 奶奶 at dinnertime. This might be fabricated memory; but I think 奶奶 also paid more attention to my brother as a male grandson. And the other male cousins as well. But well, this doesn't really matter now- she was also a product of her times.
There is a very recent video of her when she was 'Alice in Wonderland' as my uncle very aptly euphemised it, where she asked "Kang Li, eat already?" I would like to think that the regular visits when I was older and more attuned to loving my family were held to heart. For that, I would have to thank my uncle, whom I used to resent for what I felt was guilt-tripping me to talk in my extended family group chat. Can't really remember too much now (perhaps its intentional suppression of bad memories haha), but I remember this was a big source of stress during uni years especially when I was in leadership positions. Anyway, all good. I think it was with this big push/pull factor that caused me to remember regular visits, and also reflect on how this side of the family is.
As an adult, I guess we learn things about the family that explain our experiences as a child. These are also opportunities to be a peacemaker? I never liked CNY visits on the paternal side because the whole atmosphere was cordial but distant. Yet in recent years with praying and some intentionality, I guess there is new meaning to these gatherings. Not sure how future CNYs will be like without 奶奶.
I did ask God, why did You take her so soon? But I also remember that she has lived past 100. There is the lingering could I have done more to talk to her about Jesus. I guess this is one of the hardest parts. And also, though I feel comfortable here I also feel so far from home- separated not by distance but by the uncertainty of COVID. Or rather, the certainty that the pandemic will cause going home to be really hard for a while. Then again, I can technically go home- it would take 14 days compared to 4 hours but I can.
Hmm. I wonder what I should do after this post? Is like, should I just let myself do what I want to (read: sleep more, watch shows) or should I push myself to carry on with work. What is healthy coping lol. Writing things out about 奶奶 has helped I guess. I realised its also very much about the feelings regarding my family, who are still present in this world- and so I must keep on praying.