saying goodbye

This is a post that has rattled around in my head for a while. It involves a somewhat long and personal story.

My grandmother has not been doing well. She has been sick for a while. My grandfather passed on 2 years ago and she has (especially recently) just been bidding time till she could join him again.

We had planned a tirp up to her later this month, but we got the call or rather email that time was slipping quicker then before and we decided to leave the following day. My mother, my baby and I made the 16 hour drive to be with our family.  My two Aunts and their husbands as well as my uncle all live in the same area.

We knew the end was coming but we didn’t want to admit it, even to ourselves. My grandmother is strong. Not necessarily in body but in mind and spirit. She (like all of the women in my family) is outspoken and has strong opinions. She was in the first officer class for W.A.A.C.s I have perhaps the unique experience of being raised in a family with a matriarch and a strong matriarchal line. In our family it is the first born girl to get the “family name.” She was the second, I’m the fourth and my Little is the fifth.

We arrived up there late at night so didn’t go see her till the next morning. We went to her house and she may or may not have recognized us, but she was happy to see us. She said her hellos and promptly fell back asleep in her chair, as is her habit. We bustled about trying to entertain the kid in a new place that is 15 degrees out, as well as get food and prepare meals.

Mom mad a wonderful dinner. spaghetti with her homemade sauce with eggplant and mushroom and chicken of all things in it. A big green salad with Avocados brought with us from California. During dinner my grandmother work up from her nap and was wheeled to the table. She ate and then asked for seconds. she declared the food good and again she was happy. Little squealed in delight to see her great Grammy and my grandmother was equally taken with Little.  The meal was full of love and laughter and everyone went to bed feeling that warm glow you get after a wonderful evening.

The next day my grandmother slept all day. She did not even make it out of her room.I felt like this was a bad sign. That night my daughter work up in inconsolable tears and I she couldn’t tell me why she was crying. The next morning my aunt ran to my grandmothers house to pick up the coffee my mom had left the night before so that mom and I could have our coffee before we walked over an hour later. She was gone a long time. My mom thought maybe my aunt forgot. I knew. I knew my grandmother had passed. My aunt returned and shared the news. My grandmother had passed in her sleep the night before. She went peacefully.

I am torn. Death is only hard for the living. I miss her terribly. I know she was in pain and she is not now. I know she wanted to move on. I know that this is a relief for her. I know all of this and yet every time I give my self space to think of her I cry. There is a part of me that thought she would live for ever just by shear determination.

I believe strongly in sovereignty and she made her choices in life. She was not a Witch she was an Episcopalian, She chose what she wanted to have happen to her body when the time came and we honor that.  I also honor her wishes by not asking the God and Goddess to watch over her soul as it moves on or crosses over. I ask them to help me deal with my pain and that “whoever is watching her, ensures her safe passage to where she wants to go”

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