On October 29, 2015 at about 4 am, Marcella Kilby, my grandmother, went home to the Lord. The funeral was earlier this week in her tiny home church in Grayson County, Virginia at the Haw Orchard in Mouth of Wilson.
I am mourning her loss deep within my bones. The photo above was taken a few weeks before her passing. You can tell we’re related because we have the same nose. In the photo I’m 46. Gran is 94. I knew her my whole my life and I trusted her more than anyone, except maybe Fred.
Her death has left a hole in my heart, a hole in my chest. Like when a star collapses, there is a black hole left in its wake. Holes in our hearts are like vacuums. They try to suck up everything in their wake so they won’t feel so empty. I working very hard to find good things, honorable things, to fill up that empty hole.
I’m a compulsive eater, so my first instinct is to fill up that hole with food, but I’ve been praying diligently to avoid doing so. So far, so good. I can tell that I will have to keep abreast of this tendency of mine so I don’t fall into that type of behavior when I’m not looking. I’ve been visiting with other friends who are also in recovery for overeating, and going to my Celebrate Recovery and Overeaters Anonymous meetings, so I don’t fall back into comforting old habits.
Instead I’m trying to think about the parts of Granny that make me happiest, the parts of her legacy that I want to incorporate into my own life, and then stuff them into that empty space instead. I’m trying to celebrate her life more than I mourn her loss.
Grief is an overwhelming emotion. It eats you up from inside and leaves you empty, wounded and sore. It’s like a giant fire that sweeps through, leaving devastation and a barren wasteland in its wake. It leaves me feeling dry and brittle.
I am practicing the art of allowing myself to feel all of these things, no matter how much they hurt. I’m not stuffing the feelings down. I’m not eating myself to numbness. I hurt, and I’m not hiding from it.
Doing so makes me feel very brave. I think Granny would approve.
Updates will be scattered, sometimes coming all at once, and other times not coming much at all. We all deal with grief in our own way. There’s no right way or wrong way. Just the way that works for us. Sometimes I’m fine. Sometimes I’m not. That’s the way of it.
I think the worst ache of grief is temporary. It dulls with the passing of time. I don’t expect I’ll ever stop missing her, but I don’t think I’ll always feel the loss as acutely as I do right now. Like most things on this mortal plane, it’s a temporary thing. I look forward to feeling more hope than heartache. It’s just a matter of time and a healthy dose of prayer.
I may not be able to answer replies to this post because I’m too tender-hearted right now. But know in advance that I dearly appreciate all of the love, prayers and the outpouring of kindness that so many have shown me and my family during this time.
With great blessings, affection and a barrel full of bright shining hope,