My grandmother passed away yesterday morning. It wasn’t all that sudden, she had been sick the previous week, just as she had been sick on and off for the past few years. Usually, the pneumonia would set in, she’d be hospitalized for a week or so, her care takers (my mom, aunt and uncle) would get a break, then she’d recover and come home, again.
She did not recover this time.
I was surprised to get the I initial call last Tuesday morning. My mom called to tell me she wasn’t going to pull through this time and I should come ASAP to say goodbye. It’s kind of a blur from that point. I worked that day, drove late that night. I was at my Grandmother’s house when she was brought home, this was done so she could pass in her own home and in peace. I wasn’t fully prepared for how she would look. Thinking about it still upsets me… But then again it’s only been a few days. I’m thankful I got to see her though, so I could say goodbye, hold her and tell her I loved her. The emotional strain of watching my whole family doing the same and dealing with their own grief separately was almost entirely too much to bare. I think I saw my own mother go through every facet of grief there is; from fear to anger, from hysterics to becoming totally aloof and back again, and everything in between. It was all surreal. I came into this situation with an idea of how one should grieve. But I left realizing that there is no wrong way. Everyone just does it differently, that’s all.
I’m still dealing with it all, just like my family is. Only I live far away. It’s harder/easier for me, depending on the mood I’m in. The funeral will be sometime this week. I’m not even sure what to expect. I’ve only ever been to other people’s funerals. This is the first time someone close to me has died.
I know that I am relieved to a point that she is no longer suffering. If you ask me, her body rebelled against her long ago. It seems like my whole life her arthritis pained her, and her eyes practically totally blind, kept her from seeing all the true beauty that was around her. Like, her own backyard or her grandkids. I can’t imagine what it felt like in that body. I should have been more sympathetic then. Should have…
I hope to some extent she got to go out just like she wanted to, when she was ready, in her home, near her family, in her sleep and finally, painlessly.
In my thoughts I imagine her waiting until my mom and uncle went to their rooms to try and sleep a few hours. I see her spirit getting up from her lifeless body, taking one last look around her house, checking on my sleeping mother, uncle and aunt, petting her animals for the last time, smiling, then walking out the door. I hope that’s how it went, anyway.
I love you, Grandma. I will miss you everyday.