Sunday, March 14, 2010


Today I feel stuck, all this sadness in my body but I can’t cry as much. I feel anxious, wondering how my grandmother is doing. Did she get the flowers? Can she see them? Or maybe smell the fragrance, lilies are too fragrant for me but I know she loved them. She would find the most gorgeous colors, and study them for painting clues. I want someone to hold me, but I don’t know if I have that kind of relationship in San Francisco right now. I miss those relationships. I feel alone. I’m going on a trip, and now it seems confusing. It was confusing before, but now it seems really confusing. I’m even confused about how to prepare -- what do I need to do? Am I ready? Why am I going?

I call my mother to see if she’s at the hospital. She says I just picked up Allison from the airport, can I call you back? Yes, I say, and then I wonder if I should call my grandmother again, just to say hi, to tell her I love her, to see how she’s doing although I guess I wouldn’t really know but then I realize that Allison was supposed to arrive in Baltimore tomorrow. Originally she was going on Friday, but then she changed her plans and when I asked my mother why she said you’ll have to ask her.

I know Allison’s ex-boyfriend was having a party on Friday night, and she wanted to go so she could meet people, she doesn’t want to be alone either. Maybe she stayed to go to the party, that’s what I was thinking. That’s when my mother said: this doesn’t matter, but to tell you the truth I would rather both of you not come and see her this way, I would rather you keep the image in your head of how you remember her. Later, I said: I’m not interested in any illusions. But right then I said anyway, can you tell me her number at the hospital? And that’s when my mother asked: you want to call her while she’s still alive?

I call my mother again: is Rose still alive? She died, my mother says, and then I’m crying again, it feels good to cry, leaning my arms onto the table. My mother says: she got the flowers last night, she had something to say about the flowers and I made an appointment with the aide to tell me tomorrow, I want to know exactly what she said and then I’ll call you. That was a good idea, the flowers were a good idea, I’m going tomorrow to pick them up. I didn’t know she would die so soon, everyone said it was possible -- or that’s not true, her surgeon and her doctor said she would pull through, but then last night she was in a lot of pain, she was yelling for medication and I gave the approval for more morphine, I wanted to honor your wishes, she was ready to die, she was ready to die for a while.

I’m sobbing again, already I feel better and then I wonder if I should feel better, because my grandmother died, but I don’t feel better because she died I feel better because I’m crying. In the background, my sister is asking what my mother wants to eat, my mother says you can order for me, you know what I like. When is the memorial, I say, and my mother says Monday, it’s on Monday at noon and it will be a short ceremony at the chapel, the religious part will be totally deemphasized because I’m not interested in that part and neither was she, and then afterwards people will be coming over the house and there will be flowers and food and then that’s all. There will be no sitting shiva, I’m not interested in anything religious. I’m not talking to anyone right now, just you and Allison.

I’m crying, and I ask how people will find out. My mother says there will be an obituary in the Baltimore Sun, and the Washington Post, and the New York Times, I put obituaries in all those papers for Monday. I say no, I mean her friends, how will her friends find out about the service? Oh, my mother says, Jarod called everyone, he made all the calls, I’m not calling anyone -- I sent one email to the family, and that’s all. I say I think I’m going to go now, and my mother says you can call me later, call me anytime, my cellphone will be on.

I call Hilary, she says how is your grandmother, and suddenly I can’t speak, I thought I had a lot to say but I feel like a little kid and then I’m crying again and I say ask me a question. And she says: are you going to Baltimore, and I try to say my grandmother died, but I can’t, and then finally I say it, but I’m not sure that she hears me, and then I’m crying again and I say I’m leaving to go on my trip on Monday, but maybe if you’re able to come over tomorrow for a few minutes, that would be nice, and she says sure, I say maybe in the early evening, I’ll call you later, and then I get off the phone and I feel sad but not as lonely.


Anonymous said...

Mattilda, I'm sorry for your loss. Thinking of you. xoxo

Anonymous said...


Know my thoughts and those of us at A Few Queers On The Prowl are with you. Your postings about your grandmother are very beautiful. Honey if I was in San Fran I would give you a big hug and hold you.

Be strong


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thank you, Nine!!!

And Richard, you are too sweet... and I'm glad you've enjoyed the postings too...

I just want to cry more, that's what I want -- yay for crying!

Love --

Oli said...


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thank you, honey :)

Love --