this morning I checked my stats, just chilling on my phone, checking me stats as I went pee (what kind of world do we live in where I take my cell phone to go pee? like i might get bored in 20 seconds?) and I had over 800 hits on my blog, at 8am on a Saturday morning, because of search engine hits for two Chinese characters, that I don’t know what they mean, that lead these 800 people to a blog I wrote in April of 2011 about going to science camp with my eighth graders.

so…what’s going on in china that they are interested in christian camps in santa cruz?? i do not know.

tonight my cousins and family are gathered once again in my aunt’s house in danville, going over details of my grandmother‘s funeral tomorrow. this has come to be a familiar scene this year. the wine pours, the tri-tip barbecues, we all pile on top of each other on the couch (those of us that aren’t dealing with grief in a different way) and crowd around a computer screen to watch funny youtube videos. (try “largest dead snake” and “girls summer 2011 fail compilation”)

it feels weird to be laughing when Grandma is dead. but as opposed to when my uncle died earlier this year, this feels less like a tragedy and more like relief. as i go through all the pictures of her, i realize that she hasn’t been “grandma,” in the way i will remember her, for a very long time.

standing there in the hospital room with her, holding her fingers, watching her nod and bite on her oxygen tubes…it was like i didn’t even know her. but i cried because i did know her, and hated watching her in pain, and i wanted it over. at least now it’s over. we knew she wasn’t going to get better, and she’d been declining for so long.

tomorrow at the funeral, we are doing some readings, sharing memories, and i’m singing a really funny song about baseball. i sang a song at my uncle’s funeral, and my dad asked me if i would sing at gma’s, but we realized that all she ever listened to was like npr and knbr. so i’m singing a song about baseball. here’s a clip.

tonight we hung out with some of gma’s cousins, and heard stories about her childhood we didn’t know. we looked at old black and white photos, and laughed about the little school reports she kept from each of us

“two shits of paper”

(something i wrote about an opera in third grade, and i spelled “obviously” correctly and used the word “whom” correctly. the teacher inside me swooned.)

its just weird. i think as we approach the holidays, it will get weirder. why do people die? why is there pain? why do we hurt? i know it brings us closer to God,  it makes us stronger, we value things more once we’ve lost someone. but all that sounds so cheesy and dumb when you’re actually in it.

it also makes me so scared, and paranoid. when i’m driving, i think about car accidents, or earthquakes, or crazy hurricane Sandy’s. i don’t want to live in fear. i just want to eat gma’s yummy potato casserole, drink wine, snuggle my boyfriend and cousins and sisters and cats and dogs on the couch and watch youtubes about manatees.

too much to ask?