Bonus Round Patient Pages
Encouraging patient/doctor/caregiver communications


March 04, 1999: My Grandmother's Death

dear sparky,

well, my grandma died yesterday.

but i don't really want to talk about that right now.

as you know i just recently got home from a trip to el-lay to see TLS... well, i arrived there sunday the 21st and i saw the show that day as well.

i had an emotional breakdown.

it was really strange--i was really "good" (good meaning i didn't cry...) throughout the entire first act and most of the second act... it wasn't until "connected" and not just any part of "connected"--the last verse... then i started to cry. these were heart-wrenching sobs, i couldn't contain myself, i'm surprised that bob was able to block me out and finish the song, i was THAT loud. i also happened to be seated in the front row right in front of gideon's piano.

since that moment i've been trying to figure out WHY i cried at that particular moment--what it means. and i still haven't really figured it out yet. perhaps i'm analyzing it too much--ever since i've gotten older (well, since september of my junior year really) i've felt the need to analyze every little thing that happens to me, every little emotion that i have. i can't just exist fully and complete in the moment--i always have to wonder what the meaning is and WHY i'm experiencing that particular moment.

that's why i like going down to el-lay so much--i do more experiencing than thinking and even when i feel horrible it's not about being sick... it's about being alive and being active. i like that.

if you want to know why i broke down it was because i was turning 18... and 18 is a magical age for me. it's the age my doctor would always refer to--horrible things were supposed to happen to me before i reached 18 and they never did. i actually made it this far with everything still intact and not much worse from the war. and i just started to cry.

it was tantamount to the first time i'd seen the show--i was still pretty shooken up afterwards. it was interesting experiencing the show after i'd had a really rough bout of sickness...

what was really interesting was tuesday of that week--grammy in the schools. but that's not the interesting part... bob was my ride to and from USC and on the way back he started to ask me a lot of questions about my illness--not just any questions, questions that i usually shy away from and refuse to answer. questions about what it FELT like, what going through all of that was actually like, how it affected me. it was funny--one of the questions he asked touched upon an area i'd just begun to re-examine myself...


>as i said before i'd always considered myself a loner... because i always felt the need to hide things from people. i still do, to a point. but bob's question made me think of these letters and how i was finally breaking free and sharing and how frightened is sometimes made me.

i used to always "disappear" out of peoples lives--an old friend once told me that i disappeared out of his life as quickly as i'd come... he compared me to a tornado. i came into his life and blew everything he thought and everything he believed in apart and then i was gone... just like that.

and it wasn't until bob asked me that question that i realized how true that was of me (of course i didn't tell bob any of this... i just sort of babbled some lame response... and it's nothing against bob, until now i'd not told anybody this...) except how all of that is changing--i'm finally making friendships that give me the strength i need to stick with them... i don't feel like running away anymore.

another thing we discussed (and this is something i've brought up with dickie a few times) was the "i need you to live" fight the girls throw at gideon.

i hate that argument.

no one NEEDS another person to live and if they REALLY cared about gideon they'd be behind him. they don't know what it's like to look into the future and see nothing but doctors and hospitals and tests and treatment and pain. they have no right to ask gideon to continue living a life of pain just because they would miss him.

so i'm running away with a few tangents here--but let me go back to the beginning...

the death of my grandmother.

i analyze everything to pieces because i truly believe that there is a reason to everything... i used to love the idea of the three fates (greek mythology) who measured the thread of life and cut it when that life was meant to be over--some threads were longer than others and some barely existed... but that was how much life each person was alloted. i still like that idea--that the length of our thread has been pre-determined... but not what we do with that bit of thread.

so grandma's passing saddens me but i see that in many ways it's for the best and that it was her time. she did a lot with her thread and was very happy and i guess that's all that matters.

oh--before i close this letter ('cause i really think it's time i stopped foaming at the mouth) i wanted to tell you that when i got the news of my grandma's death i was listening to "connected".

cool, huh? i thought so...

lots of love to you sparky,

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