On Saturday morning, in the middle of pouring bottomless mimosas down my throat at Lime, I received a text from my dad that my grandma passed away.
This isn’t going to be a heartfelt eulogy or filled with fond remembrances. Here is a woman who spent most of my childhood lecturing me about the amount of time it took me to wash my hands and fawning over my male cousins, who never really told me that she loved me or seemed happy to see me until the dementia started to kick in and she could no longer recognize my face. We were never close, despite the fact that she was the only grandparent I ever had the opportunity to get to know.
While I was at Lime and to this day, thinking about my grandma inspires more feelings of guilt than sadness in me, because I just feel guilty that I barely feel anything at all.
My family isn’t very “close.” Sure, we get along and we laugh when we’re together and we do all the things that families do with no real childhood traumas to speak of, but my parents only started telling me that they love me on a semi-regular basis within the last couple of years. Because of this, the word “love” sometimes feels uncomfortable to me, feels foreign on my tongue, feels alien in my mouth, and I have to drag it out of me so forcefully that it just sounds awkward and unnatural, as if I am just spitting out syllables. I have never told my sister that I love her. But, neither has she to me.
My great-grandmother’s dying words as she braced herself for a fatal heart attack were something along the lines of, “DON’T FUCKING TOUCH ME,” as one of my other family members tried to help her. So I guess this kind of distance just runs in our blood.
I often think about how the lack of connection within my family is completely reflected in my interpersonal relationships. I’m cold and evasive, and I find it difficult to connect with most people because I can rarely muster enough interest in most people. When I catch my mom rolling her eyes at strangers as she eavesdrops on their conversations, I can see myself in her. It’s an awful thing - to have such a coldness passed down through your genes as casually as brown eyes or black hair, and to be so cognizant of it while also feeling powerless to it. I try to be open and warm, but my disposition is just cold, and I feel uncomfortable when people try to enter into my life unannounced.
My flight for LA leaves tomorrow night, with the viewing on Thursday and the funeral on Friday. I’ll probably cry, probably moreso at the sight of my dad crying than the idea of my deceased grandma, and I’m just kind of a shitty and selfish person, because here I am making this all about myself instead of about the fact that my grandma just passed away.
RIP Grandma Rosa