Tag Archive for death

On the death of my grandfather

I have a mole on the side of my body, right between my right breast and armpit. It used to look like most of my other moles, small, flat, and brown, but it looks different now, and I’m kind of freaking out about it. Not because I’m scared it’s cancerous or anything like that, but because this mole is special, as my grandpa, Poppo, had the exact same mole in the exact same spot.

For those of you who follow this blog, but don’t know me in real life, my Poppo died at the end of this past December. If you do know me or read me, then you’ll know that this has been a devastating, however expected, loss. I won’t go into everything again (you can read more about him here and here) but he co-raised me and we were very close when I was growing up. For over a decade before he died, he suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. In the end he didn’t really remember any of us except my grandmother, and he lived full-time in a special home for people with memory loss.

A lot of people aren’t close to their grandparents, so they don’t really get it, and they say or want me to say that he was like a father to me, but it wasn’t exactly like that. I never had a father, so I wouldn’t know what that means. Poppo was my best friend and one of the only people who has ever made me feel completely safe and loved. Years ago a sentence like that would have never appeared in my writing, because feeling safe and loved is not funny, or really very interesting as far as the big story goes, but getting older and trying to get healthy mentally makes you say and feel all kinds of things that aren’t super amusing. I have lived for almost my whole life genuinely believing that I just can’t seem to do anything right, but my grandpa’s love always got through to me. He never made me feel ashamed or ugly.

I’ve been hard on myself for mourning so deeply. I can’t figure out why it still hurts so much, especially since he was so old and sick, so ready to go, and went so peacefully. But I suppose watching the person you love most in the entire world exhale for the final time doesn’t fit neatly into the definition of “peaceful.” It was harder in the end to watch him leave his earthly body because I had stuffed down my feelings about slowly losing who he was long before that. Just as my favorite mole is changing, I watched my grandpa change before my eyes for years and then had to turn away. It was too painful to see him, too difficult to accept that he was alive but not there to read my stories or meet the person I want to spend the rest of my life with (who reminds me a lot of him, by the way. Sometimes cliches work out). Of course, unlike the weird, raised, discolored mole (TMI), which I will probably have to get removed, my Poppo never turned into anything ugly. He was beautiful to the very end and beyond, from his last breath with most of my family by his side to the amazing pictures we shared at his rosary to the strength he gave my cousin to deliver his beautiful eulogy.

I know it will get easier, because there are more funny stories about Poppo than sad times, but I will miss him forever.


alright, let me be frank, i need to write this fast. the reason for that is that ever since i was a small child, despite being otherwise mild-mannered and compliant, i will get in these moods where everything starts to irritate me and i literally want to DESTROY EVERYTHING IN MY PATH. it could be the smallest thing! for example, right now it’s my glasses, which i have been forced to wear since i lost my last pair of contacts halfway through the trip to portland. my nose has finally had it. it feels like these things are constructed of barbed wire. i just want to rip them off, crush them, and set them ablaze. my laptop is also bothering me. the wrist rest area feels like it is actually slitting my wrists… my skin is crawling… i hate everything. ugh.

okay, not i am tuoing without my classes on. what do you thin?

nevermind, i put them back on.

i don’t have much to say except it’s really starting to get on my nerves that just because i am in a relationship half of my friends never call me anymore or invite me places. I AM NOT IN A BORING COUPLE. yes, we spend a lot of time together, but we are also trying to spend some healthy time apart and i have many of my own interests. i am determined not to become completely and utterly boring just because i am in love. my friend amy caron always says “i like you and joe because you are a couple, but you’re not boring. you still hang out.” apparently, no one else sees it that way. it’s not like we sit around nude on a bear skin rug playing board games and popping each others’ zits. WE ARE EXCITING. on the other side of the coin, what’s so fun about being single? okay, i admit it: i had a lot of fun being single and if, for some fucked up reason, i should find myself being single again there is no doubt in my mind that i will be fierce as ever at it. i am pretty good at entertaining myself because more often than not, i make myself the entertainment. however, i am also a very lonely person naturally, who hides behind a lot of jokes and booze, and i should think that my friends would be happy that i have met someone who makes me feel like my chest is made of pop rocks and soda (in a good way). i just don’t feel like they are sometimes, and it makes me feel bad.

i need to get out of the house. i spent all day inside today watching tv and doing online work for my boss in a pink robe, which basically means that a) i have achieved my greatest dream, and b) i am going fucking insane! i need to get another part time job that gets me out of the house.

the beauty of living in san gabriel is that i never have to worry about random friends stopping by and catching me in my pjs, the night sky is huge and forgiving, and the train whistle’s lonely wail is strangely comforting. the problem is, this is way to close to home to feel nostalgic. it’s way too close to home to be where i live.

to make matters worse, i am pmsing hard. i nearly started crying when i read about lily allen’s miscarriage the other day, and i took the news of heath ledger’s death today especially hard. don’t get me wrong, both of these things suck really really bad, but i normally don’t get misty over celeb news.

i don’t know, i guess i am just looking for something to occupy my mind right now. for a while, hunting ebay for a replacement for my long-lost black jacket was doing the trick, but i have even lost interest in that.

send any ideas my way, along with a steak. i think i need more iron in my diet.

do you know what today is?

today is the one-year anniversary of Amanda: Failure Princess. this comes with little fanfare on account of my recent over-explained hiatus. look, people, i’m not going to lie, i have somehow lost my mojo. i don’t know where it went, but i sure miss it. first, i blamed it on not having a shit job anymore, but then i realized my new “good” job was shit, then when i became unemployed, i still couldn’t write anything worth reading. next, i thought the reason i didn’t have much to say was that i fell madly in love and felt only joy surging through me and not an ounce of angst or general bitterness against the world, two of the main sources of my creativity. well… i still am in love, but i am definitely back to normal in terms of what goes on in my head on a daily basis. then, in october, my little cousin’s best friend died when his motorbike was hit by a bus. he would have been 20 last saturday. i think i will remember that night for the rest of my life, rushing to the hospital to try and be there for my cousin, but realizing that before my eyes he was being thrust further and all too quickly toward becoming a man, unable to cry, comforting me and his hysterical sister. i cried for two weeks straight, and i actually had a lot to write about, had it all worked out in my mind, but i never could. i felt guilty, i guess, in part because the truth is i barely knew cisco, though he and my cousin were inseparable. but the guilt was also because what i did know of the boy, who lay in a coma for two days before his heart reluctantly ceased to beat, was that he was so exuberant and full of life, seemingly so unafraid. i couldn’t help but think of myself when i was his age, and how i prayed every single day that my life would end, and how even though i don’t wish that every day anymore, i certainly live my life in a manner that can best be described as “ungratefully.” anyways, this depressed me and i never really wanted to write after that.

what i will say about this year is, that despite the aforementioned horrible tragedy, it was definitely a good one for me personally. i did some pretty stupid shit, but i learned a lot and i made a lot of new friends and found someone to love who loves me. can’t get much better than that, right? oh, i also got that job. i am personally assisting a novelist. it’s part time, but it’s a pretty cool gig and right up my alley.

also, i am currently in PORTLAND OREGON, which is majorly exciting because i have friends here i never get to see and j is from here so i get to meet all of his friends. we are off in a few hours to a nice house party and i think it will be dancetastic and fun, but not too crazy, which is apparently a recipe for a decent year for me. and i get to have a hot kiss at midnight!

so to everyone who is still reading me: happy new year! thanks for your support. i will be here in 2008, failing, succeeding, and laughing, and i hope you will be with me too.