I knew that, when my remaining Grandparent passed away it would be very hard. But I thought I had more time.
Grandma passed away this past Saturday. She was in the hospital, but the doctors thought they’d be sending her home soon (with hospice, but still, home) — they were as shocked and surprised as we were when she died (peacefully, in her sleep).
I have so many memories… so many, that keep coming to me in passing moments. They flood my mind, but when I try to write them down I find myself struggling. I don’t know where to start.
I guess I’m just not there yet. Right now I am just feeling a profound sense of loss. I wish that I had gotten more time, I wanted to ask her more questions, for more stories. That’s what I was going to do Saturday, I was headed to the hospital with my Mom to spend the day with Grandma. I was going to interview her so we could add to the autobiography she “finished” about 20 years ago. We were on our way in when we got the call.
I see Grandma in all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She has touched our lives, and in one way or another we all carry in us things that will always reminds us of her. She was a voracious reader and a writer, she was optimistic and always smiling, witty to the very end — I would love to be as together and with it, as quick thinking now as she was at 91. Strong, intelligent, I am so thankful that I got to know her as I did.
I know that someday I will be able to write more, so much more. Grandma was an amazing woman, and these past few months living with her have been a gift. It will be a long time before I can walk by anyone selling chocolates and not stop with a thought to buy her a little something. I think of the projects that she didn’t get to finish, and wish I had asked more about them so maybe I could bring them to life. I think of all the conversations we didn’t yet get to have… but I also think back on the ones that we did have, all the great things that we did together, and how lucky I was to have her as my grandmother.
Until I can find the words, find the way to share the memories and influence, this will have to do. This, and what others have done. My cousin wrote a beautiful reflection on her travel-blog about Grandma — her love of travel, adventure and elephants. My brother has started to work on a drawing, based on a painting grandma received as a gift when she retired from the newspaper that she worked at for many years.
I guess all that I can say right now, really, is that I miss her. I know her theology and beliefs told her that she is in heaven now, with my grandfather, her parents, and all her friends who have passed. And my own theology (in most simple terms) says that what you believe happens when you die is what happens. So it is some comfort to think of her there with my grandfather — only parted for a little over 6 months — and other loved ones. I imagine she is on a new grand adventure.
That thought helps some, but it doesn’t make me miss her any less.