It’s late on Friday night, and tomorrow is my grandmother’s grave side service. It’s just a small family affair, with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, nephews, aunt and cousins. And tonight I just don’t care about blogging. In fact I feel like my words just aren’t enough. It’s been two weeks since she died and my grief has stalled. I’m neither freshly pained at the news, nor really dealing with the loss. Sort of an emotional limbo.
How do I sum up her eighty-some years of life, or at least the last thirty or so that I’ve known her. I can’t. Most of the time we just share funny stories and it’s almost like we forget. At least I do. But now we’re back, not far from my mother’s hometown; where my grandmother raised her family, buried her sons and her husband. Suddenly I can’t ignore the reality anymore.
This amazing woman who has been widowed for more than 20 years, my last living grandparent is gone. I won’t get into the existential questions of eternity. I’m not there quite yet. Right now I’m just thinking about the loss.
She was part of my childhood, a pillar and fixture. Three times a year to Massachusetts to visit her house, with the hill in the backyard and the barn in the yard. It was like visiting a fairyland of magic and mystery; so different from our house in the Pennsylvania suburbs.
I’m grateful that my children got to know her, especially my daughter. Yet she wasn’t quite the same person I remember. When I was a child she loved books and kept ice cream in her freezer for our visits. But I also remember her as so proper and serious. But with my children, she was a doting great-grandmother. My daughter took her first steps in my grandmother’s apartment in Pennsylvania, after my grandmother sold her condo in Boston and moved to a senior living community just miles from my mother’s house.
After years of living at a distance, she was in the same town. My children saw her often, and looked forward to visits. I know they are young, and my son especially will probably not remember these days well. But it comforts me to know that her love, and her unique personality have made an impact on them. So when they ask I can tell them, that Grandmama loved books and bought them many of their favorites. That she loved their laughter and mischievousness and even toward the end, thought they were beautiful.
Today took me more than five minutes. But I’m OK with that.
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