From the Airport

I’m sitting in the San Francisco airport, and the man next to me wearing the Duck Dynasty ball cap has the hiccups. It’s a violent case–more like the croup, actually–but his wife is asleep on his shoulder and doesn’t seem to care.  It’s crowded in here, and one of those traveling days where everybody looks vaguely familiar, like an actor on a sitcom I might have seen a couple times in the 1980s.  It smells powerfully of hotdogs in here, and I smell like I’ve been on a plane or in an airport for the past 12 hours.  I’m supposed to wear this sweater to my Granny’s funeral tomorrow, and now it smells like airplane and hotdogs.  I knew this was going to happen.

Granny died a couple weeks ago, and, strangely, I’ve been a little ashamed at how uncool I’ve been about it.  Isn’t that weird? Your grandmother dies, and it seems like you should be able to be as sad as you need to be, for as long as you’ve got to be sad.  But somehow I’ve started feeling like my mourning period should have been shorter–like what exactly am I mourning at this point? Has Granny dying turned into something different? Like the sweeping out of the teensiest crumb of hope that some people might be able to live forever, or at least indefinitely? Because Granny was going to be 104 in July, and I’m 36, and I only have 68 more years to do everything I need to do.  But probably less.

Isn’t this fun?!  Sorry about this.  

So, how have YOU been?



  1. Kristin Awsumb Liu

    Oh, honey, I feel you. So much of my sadness in losing Dad has been fueled by my slap-in-the-face realization that this is what happens, that people die, that it’s going to happen to more people I love with alarming frequency, and that it’s eventually going to happen to me. It doesn’t take the place of or diminish my grief over losing him (which I initially worried and felt guilty about); it bubbles up through it in sometimes oppressive ways.

    I hope you find the funeral is a good chance to center on celebrating Granny, being with your family, and clinging to those amazing folks you have holding you up, as you hold them up. I also hope the croupy hiccups aren’t the catching kind, and that you don’t smell too much like hot dogs. I love you so much.

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