not ready yet.

by Jinryu

The Go Club Annual General Meeting was held on Monday the 8th.

I was there giving the President’s Report.  After the President’s report came the Treasurer’s Report and the Secretary’s Report, and we proceeded to elections of the new year’s executive team.

One of the people in attendance at the meeting was, it turns out, one of the founding members of the club from over 5 years ago.  We played an even game, and he completely destroyed me.

He told me that to get from about 20kyu level to 10kyu level, you had to learn to fight.  But when  you wanted to really work your way down the single digit kyus, all the way to finally becoming a dan grade player, you would first have to learn to let go.  You would need to learn the meaning of moving on, and not throwing too much into what was already lost.

Earlier today, while I was at university, I found out by email that on October 7th, Gramma passed away.  I don’t know what I was doing at that time– I was probably at school either working on a paper due for Litigation, or I was at the Go Club.  There was some delay in family back in Montreal letting me know, because, well, who knows really– it’s understandable, right?

I’m told that she passed away peacefully and without pain, and surrounded by family.  That day that she died, it was the day that I got to videoconference with her for a few minutes.  She was having a lot of time concentrating at that point, and when I asked her how she was doing, all she could really tell me was that her stomach hurt.

When I found out today,  nothing happened at first.  I must’ve been in shock. I read the email over, and it didn’t sink in.  I managed to finish my Litigation paper, run through a mock run of a presentation that [DilligentB], [CaptainK] and I were going to do in the 6pm class.  I even even sat through 2 hours of a Criminal Law class where I think people were talking about murder with accomplices or something– I dunno.  I didn’t really hear anything.  I emailed [CM] to tell her what had happened, but I wasn’t even sure what was going on.

After class had finished, I DilligentB asked me how my legal research paper was going.  Not so great, I said. I intended to skip property to work on it.  Oh, and yeah– I just found out my grandmother passed away.  I mumbled some stuff after that, and just kept walking towards the next class as if I intended to go there… CaptainK ran into me in the hall and outside of the building said something about “Take the afternoon off, call your Grandma” or something and I pointed out that it was too late for that or something.  “Yeah, that’s awkward now, isn’t it?” I think I said.  “Just don’t think about it,” I said out loud.  It sounds absurd that i was telling this to him, when really, I think I was trying to tell myself.

I ran into the Property teacher while I was in the Law Building, and I told him I wouldn’t be coming to class.  I didn’t realise, i guess, until I had to form the words how much it simply hurt.  I almost broke down right there in front of him I think, so I gave my apologies and quickly excused myself.

It has been not even 8 hours since I found out.  I have this incredible headache that no amount of panadol (the Aussie equivalent of Tylenol) is getting rid of.

I skipped 5 hours of classes and just went home.

CM tried to console me, and she did her best.  I just wasn’t in the mood, so I took a nap, lay around a bit.

The photos of Gramma that I took while I was back in Montreal are still on my smartphone.  These photos are less than a month old.  I just stared.  And I couldn’t understand.

I felt, and I still feel, so empty, which on a figurative level would make no sense, because it seems I’m so good at producing tears right now.

And this headache– GOD this headache!!!

I kind of feel it, coming up– this deep sense of frustration and anger, and I don’t know who or what to point it at.  And letting it wash over me feels good, because, I don’t know.  Pain? I’ve always understood pain.  It’s great filler– it helps to make you not notice the emptiness.


I honestly thought that I’d get another chance to talk to her before she passed on.  The last conversation I had with her then wasn’t even really a conversation at all– it was me trying to make small talk as we always do, except that she wasn’t in the mood for it.

Does it matter, really, what her last words were to me?  I guess not.  I told her “joi-geen la, gamma!” (“See you later, Grandma!”) and she said “Okay la.” And that was it.

When I was a kid, I was a real hell raiser, and she took really good care of my sister and I.  In the last decade, Gramma had been increasingly becoming more disconnected with reality.    But despite it, she was always super kind to my sister and I in ways that she wasn’t towards other people in the family.  She always made fun of us and was always in as good a mood as possible with us.

I feel bad that I wasn’t there when she passed.  But maybe this is for the best… or maybe it just is what it is.  Maybe this way I’ll just remember her as oblivious to the world and as good natured as she always was.

I don’t think you understand how incredibly angry I am right now.  I know that her suffering is finally over, so this is actually a good thing.  And I know it’s nobody’s fault.

I just want to break something, and I don’t even know why.

And this headache, it just won’t go away.

Gramma… I know I haven’t been around, so it’s hipocritical of me to say that I miss you.  But right here, I don’t know what’s wrong… I know if you saw me right now, you wouldn’t understand what was wrong, and you’d ask me, and I wouldn’t be able to explain… but give me some time, and I’ll make sure I make the most of all of this.

I’ll talk to you later, Gramma.