My grandma died.
On Christmas Eve, my grandma took her last breath. I will never see her again. I knew that was the case, even before she passed away, but the finality of it, the actual act of her dying, hits me very strongly.
What do you even say? What is there even to say? How do you describe the pain, the emptiness, the wondering if you did enough? I wish I had spent more time with my grandma when she was of sound mind. I’m not sure I would have been able to, I was young and didn’t have a lot of money. But I could have called and written. I could have done more. But what I did will have to be enough, because I can’t do anything else.
Instead of feeling guilty, I will try to use this thought of “I wish I spent more time with those that are gone” and turn it into a thought of, “I will spend more time with those that I love that are still alive.” I cannot change the past, but I can show those in my life that I love them. And I can appreciate the time I have with them.
Death is hard. I talked to Shari yesterday about it (she lost her grandma last month) and Shari had some very wise words for me. She said, “life and death are just nonsense, really.” The utter truth of it slammed into me in such a calming and right way. Life and death are nonsense, especially to a non-religious person like me. To me, there is no reason to life, and we have to create our own purpose. To me, life is all about love – loving myself and loving others and making sure they know I love them and spending time with those people in the midst of the nonsense of the world. And though life is nonsense, it’s also incredible, wonderful, and magical.
People die. All the time. You hear about a friend or a coworker losing a grandparent, a sibling, a parent, and all you say is, “I’m sorry.” That’s all we generally say in American culture. I’m not sure what else there is to say because sometimes words fall short. And words don’t bring back your loved one. But I feel like there is more we can do to support our grieving community. Offer to listen. Remind them they are not alone. Give a hug. I suppose people do this. Those that have lost someone – those people that remember what it feels like. Those that care.
I have no real purpose to this blog post other than to say to the world: My grandmother, whom I love, died yesterday. I love her. She had Alzheimer’s and her memory and her self were pulled from her and I hate that and it makes me feel angry. My grandmother, whom I call Maw-Maw, was a woman who loved me. She told me stories, she wrote me letters, she went on trips with me, she baked for me, and she let me wear her perfume. I slept in her home, took baths in her tub, and ate at her table. There are so many memories, and not enough. This one paragraph, this one blog post, it doesn’t give her the credit she deserves. It doesn’t tell you who she really was, the nuances of her being. She made me laugh. She made me smile. She made me feel loved. I miss her. I love her.