Sunday, May 3, 2009

Blogging on Paper

When my grandfather died in 2001, my grandmother's doctor told her to keep a diary. She was a physical and emotional wreck. Not really because of the loss of my grandfather, but more because of the fact that he took care of her. On the day of his funeral her concern was "Who was going to drive me to the doctor?"

I had forgotten that (for reasons unknown) she gave me this diary when they were here in March. Was it to garner pity? A show of widowed solidarity? I don't know. What I do know is that the entries struck me as odd. In 98 entries, mostly focused on what she ate, who had called or written, who was tops on her list for doing so, what her most recent medical complaint was, she only mentioned my grandfather once. On her birthday. Not his. Amazing to me. Yes, we all grieve in different ways...but it was a window into who my grandmother is. To me, almost an unfinished painting. One who has yet to see outside of herself, and, at the age of 85, probably never will. It is funny that I found myself wanting to hit the comment button after every post. I wish that we could discuss these entries in some way. That I could ask her what she learned from the process (that she has since given up).

While I did find myself feeling sad (or pity at least) for her on some occasions, I found myself mostly disbelieving-for, on the day of her daughter's (my aunt) death she again asked the question, "Who will take care of me?" Heartbreaking in that you never really know much about a person until you really read their words I guess.