My grandmother died yesterday. Last October 20, my grandfather passed away after a very painful week in the hospital and several months of steady decline. He was married to my grandmother for over 67 years when he passed away and at the time, I remember thinking that whatever I might have thought lonely meant prior to that day must have been laughable when compared to what my grandmother must have been feeling just then and in the weeks that followed.
My grandmother, like all the women on her side of the family, was very slight of build and sometimes gave the impression of being frail. Also like all the women on her side of the family, she was made of iron and was one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. She’d had a friend who couldn’t leave her bedroom after losing her husband of several decades and the night my grandfather died she said, “I just can’t see myself being as silly as that,” which, if you were lucky enough to have known her, is exactly what you’d expect her to say. And I have to say, every time I saw her after my grandfather died she had a positive attitude. Even as she lay in her bed last Saturday night, able to do little more than lift her hand to wave at me, her words barely audible at times, she had a smile on her face and told me she loved me. If that isn’t dying with dignity, I’m not sure what is. Sadly, her body wasn’t as healthy as her spirit and she finally left us yesterday, a little before 1pm.
Today, the world is a little duller and a little grayer than it was yesterday and I just don’t possess the words to properly describe how much I miss her already.