Mourning is exhausting. And just when you think you’ve put it to bed, you get a second wind and it’s just as strong as when it was fresh.
We lost Grandma, Shirley Rae Dayoub, more than a week ago and I feel the sting as strong as ever. My ribs hurt from crying. My eyes are dry. I look TERRIBLE. I feel like I’ve been shook. It’s the biggest downfall of feeling ALL the feels. I’m sad for me. I’m sad for my Mom. I’m sad for my cousins. Just sad.
The only real solace I felt through the whole trip home, oddly enough, was seeing her in the casket. That, that being, was not my Grandma. It was merely the package she came in. I was glad that she was barely recognizable. That mouth set in a relaxed frown? Not Shirley. Those hands stiffly folded? Not Shirley. That face, covered in thick makeup was certainly not my Grandmother. My grandmother always had a look of mischief on her face, her hands always wrapped around a mug of something warm, tapping her nails in a rhythm, and her skin only lightly covered in Clinique Matte powder. Grandma smelled of Dove soap, Pantene Shampoo and Jergen’s lotion. She was always warm from having a dog on her lap. Rather than the suit she was buried in, she could most regularly be spotted in a fleece robe and slippers.
But, Liz, where’s the positive spin you put on things? Where’s the lesson? Where’s the comedy? Friends, I have yet to find the comedy. But I have found the love. Yes, my family was together and we got each other through. But the other astounding love I am experiencing is from Show People. My cast has rallied around me with with a ferocious love that I struggle to wrap my brain around. An army of empaths at my side, picking my up by arms and carrying me through this week; It’s the only way I’m getting through. I hope, my friends, at some point in your life you are surrounded by a group of people that laugh with you and at you, cry with you and for you, while all the while calling you on your shit like only a team of artists can.
This love feels familiar. Feels comforting. It feels like Shirley.