Is Laura Still Your Emergency Contact?
Laura Lynn Keeton. Born March 15th, 1949 and passed away February 3rd, 2011.
Nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a loved one. The grief that comes with losing them can be physically painful.
June 10th 2017. I made a visit to the ER and at registration the nurse asked "Is Laura still your emergency contact?" Her even saying my Nana's name triggered a set of emotions in me I thought I had gotten 'okay' with. I've had countless visits to the doctor and ER since 2011 but not one person has asked that question.
I was raised by my Nana and Papa so her death hit hard. For some reason she never thought I could do any wrong. I was the first grand baby and my brother may disagree but I was her favorite (sorry bro).
My Papa was a truck driver so I used to sleep in the bed next to her while he was on the road. She'd get up with me early in the morning just to catch an episode of I Love Lucy. No matter how tired she was she'd still sit in her chair and just listen to me giggle at the episodes I had seen time and time again. We were incredibly close.
The hardest part of losing somebody (for me anyway) is the fact that I can't remember some of the most important things that made me love her so much. I can't remember her voice. I miss her smell. Even seeing her handwriting on old pieces of paper is hard. Her laugh was infectious and every now and then I can picture her on the couch giggling at something I did.
So how do we get past the grieving part? When does it become okay to realize they are just a memory? Even as I sit here and type this I'm crying. The thought that she hasn't seen me be a mother to my boys or that I can't pick up the phone and call to ask for a pot of her homemade goulash and fried cornbread.... it hurts.
Like all changes that come our way it's steps we have to take to adapt. That night in the ER as bad as I didn't want her name removed from my medical file I knew I had to. I keep the photo below as the wallpaper on my phone and it's been that way since she passed. I know that's another step I'll have to eventually take.
It's been 6 years and it's SLOWLY gotten easier. High emphasis on the slowly. Everybody grieves differently and I've learned that it's okay to cry if I hear her name, or when my brother cooks fried taters that taste just like hers.
It may not be daily but I'll take steps to accept that she's only just a memory. We as human beings are made to hurt and love all at the same time. Just a damn blessing and a curse I guess.
Laura Lynn Keeton. My grandmother, a confidant, somebody who always had a cup of coffee in hand, and one of the most amazing women I've ever had the pleasure of loving.