I stare at the screen and I realize that, until I purge myself in words of some of the sorrow I feel, I will not be able to continue healing.
It’s part of my process.
My grandmother died in her sleep over the weekend. She was on a pain patch and in my uncle’s home so she felt nothing and was not tied up to noisy machines or poked and prodded at by strangers in her last hours. She was in her early 90s (93, I think).
It was pretty much expected to happen but, oh my heart, why can’t we bend the laws of nature and keep these things from occurring.
There is no reason for me to be sorrowful except for the loss of her. And I will miss her terribly. In fact, it will be hard to go without crying when I attend my uncle’s wedding in June in California. Her absence will be right there for me to face and undeniable.
She lived a long and mostly happy life. Sure, she had some trauma happen throughout the years, but I can’t imagine it would be possible to escape unscathed over a 93-year lifespan.
I have no regrets regarding my relationship with her because I made sure to spend as much time with her as humanly possible in the last years of her life.
She knew I loved her with all my heart just as much as I know she loved me equally. She lived with my uncle in California within eyesight of the ocean and I visited her probably at least twice a year over the last five years. My uncle took wonderful care of her. I am very grateful for all he did and the opportunities he provided for me to spend time with her.
During my visits, when we had alone time, we would talk about life. I would ask her about her past and she would try to reach back in her mind to memories that had been dormant for decades.
Most times, I would bring along a crochet project and she would help me by unwinding bunches of yarn while I would gather the yarn into a ball. Sometimes, I would sing to her and sometimes we would sing hymns together while gazing out as the sea and the rolling waves.
There are so many wonderful things I could write about her, many of them I recorded in a previous blog entry (https://esthernow.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/visiting-grandma-now-and-then/). But I’m not sure what to write from here. So many thoughts cloud my mind.
I’ve wondered in the past how I would handle her death. Grandma (on my father’s side) was one of a handful of soul mates to me. Her age didn’t do anything to hold back the bond between us that formed in my early years.
At that time, my blood grandfather (her first husband) had died un-expectantly and my father moved out there to be with her.
I guess I served as a sign of life for her — a happy, bubbling and giggling baby who grandma could spend time with to escape her pain and focus on someone who needed her. They say special bonds form in one’s early years and I think that explains, in part, why my grandmother and I were so close.
I’m also close with my mother’s mother, and I love her dearly. But there’s always been a special bond between my paternal grandma and me.
Anyway, I’m handling the whole thing pretty good considering how close we were. I even made it in to work today…although I’m not such how much I was able to accomplish.
Yesterday, my wonderful boyfriend stayed around way past his schedule to be with me until my sister arrived.
Then my sister and I proceeded to carry on a long tradition by my grandmother (and an unhealthy one) to eat ice cream right before going to bed. I pulled out albums of recent photos and older ones with her in it and my sister and I cried together over the photos then we talked about some of our memories.
Tonight will be hard, however, because I will be alone. My dog is at my parents because I’m leaving for a trip to Asia on Saturday. They will take care of my dog while I’m gone. But that means I have no one to comfort me tonight.
I’m saving most of my grieving for next week. While in Hong Kong and Vietnam, I will have ample time alone. I already had planned to go out to one of the islands (probably Lamma Island) where cars are not allowed.
On one of those islands or in a park or pagoda, I will find a quiet nook or lookout on top of a hill, write in my journal, and mourn my grandma proper by writing down my thoughts in my journal. Perhaps I’ll even direct the sound of my voice across the island’s cliffs with the sound of the hymns she loved so much.
Goodbye grandma, my friend and soul mate. May we all live as long, pass as peacefully and have people in our lives who love us so dearly.