Monday, 29 February 2016

My Sacred Space

Original Picture taken from StockSnap
When I come home and close the door to my apartment, I feel safe and I can finally fully relax
It is the only place where I can truly be myself and where I am in absolute control of (almost) everything (water pipes can be so unpredictable!). 
So, inviting people over is quite a big deal for me. While I don't mind very close friends, I would never ask an acquaintance I barely know to come visit me. First of all, my apartment is such a personal space, with too many things I do not want to share with other human beings. Also, hosting is so much stress. Most people are pretty low-maintenance, but I'm always worried if everything is alright, if they are comfortable, or if they have enough to drink.

Last Saturday was actually the first time that I invited a colleague from work over. It was quite a spontaneous thing and we had a surprisingly nice evening. We had so many things to talk to about. I didn't even feel as awkward as I had thought I would with a "new person" in my home.
It was a good thing that I had invited her over, for I often feel like I'm not trying hard enough at getting along with my colleagues. But it also strengthened the feeling that only a few selected people should have the privilege of visiting me like that. People, who I am really comfortable with, who know about my little quirks and who don't mind them. Because even though I know that one should always behave naturally in front of other people, I still make an effort to please everyone. 
And things get even more complicated when it comes to physical contact. While I love a good, tight goodbye-hug with my best friends, I'm very cautious when it comes to strangers or people I rarely see. This attitude can look distant and sometimes even snobbish. 

My home is my fortress and my favourite place in the world, because there is just me. 
No expectations, no people, no keeping up appearances. 
To enter it, you have to deserve it.
And I feel like we all should be very careful when asking ourselves if we want someone to com over. As our sanctuary, our home is the last place on earth where we should have to deal with people we do not consider as 100% trustworthy - people who keep us from being the way we really are. 
There is already enough negativity out there. Seriously.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Death Leaves a Precious Wound

Original Picture taken from StockSnap
When I was a child, I used to think that my grandparents were immortal. It never occured to me that the people in my life would eventually have to leave me. They were just there. And that's the way it was supposed to be.

Once I started going to elementary school, my mum and I moved into my grandparents' house. A few years later, my stepdad joined us. We were a perfect family with everyone living under the same roof. As I grew older, I realised that dying is just another part of life. A part, that it will happen to everyone some day. But still, I couldn't not imagine being in a world without my grandparents.

Then, at the beginning of 2014, my first grandmother died. Once a sophisticated and elegant woman, she died - her mind and body eroded by a brain tumor that had fed off of her for months.

At the end of 2014, my second grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. The following year was filled with doctor's appointments and hospital stays, radiation therapy and chemo. We were so happy when we thought that it was over, that she would be alright in the end.
Then, she had to go to the hospital again. They had found something else. And it had spread all the way to her lungs.

There was no way back.

She stayed at the hospital and never came back home. And every week I came to see her, watching her face becoming slimmer and slimmer, her hands shaky and her hair thin. Until she couldn't even get up anymore, her look spacy from the morphine and all those painkillers.
She spent her last week at a hospice specialized in taking care of AIDS- and cancer-patients at the end of their path.

She died on Tuesday at 9:45 p.m. surrounded by the people who love her.

Watching someone die is a scary experience. Hours of sitting and waiting. Listening to this heavy, rattling breath. The spasms. Then, the fingers start to turn blue ever so slightly. The gaze fixed at some point far away.
How fast a human body gets cold, once all life is sucked out of it.
A lifeless, but peaceful figurine made of wax.

To me, the term "loss" can not describe the feeling caused by this experience. You might lose your car keys or your favourite necklace, but not your loved ones. They are forcefully taken away, and there is nothing you can do about it, but accept. Accept and live with it.
You are left with a wound so, so deep, but the scar it leaves behind will be ever so precious to you, because it is filled with memories.

Her funeral will be next Friday.
And I can't wait for the wound to heal, so I can look at my beautiful scar.