I lost my last surviving grandmother today.
She was diagnosed with senile dementia several years ago and her condition has been declining ever since.
It's so so so strange to feel simultaneously grateful that someone's suffering has ended and to also feel the stabbing pain of grief that likes to sneak up on you when you realize that they are gone.
I knew this day was coming. Weeks ago I was mad at God (or whoever makes the decisions around here...) for not easing her pain. I told my mother that God had forgotten my grandmother and that I felt like an awful person for wishing that her suffering could just end once and for all. I even feel terrible for writing this now. But it was based out of love for her.
Even though I knew this day was coming... I'm still so broken up. I can't believe how surprised I actually feel to feel as much pain I feel at the loss of her. Grief is just so... so weird.
Thankfully, she was surrounded by her family as she took her last breaths.
|Grandma Mary and little Annie: Circa 1988|
This scrap book contained pictures I had never seen and mementos from my life that I would have never imagined she would have kept. She kept playbills from all of my junior high and high school plays, brochures from music performances, newspaper clippings... thinking about all of these things now I can barely keep typing I'm getting so choked up.
She was of course, a great mother and grandmother but she was also a teacher, an avid gardener, a great cook, a pristine housekeeper, and a talented seamstress. She posessed this graceful strength that is seldom seen in people in my generation. She knew how to work hard and also loved to enjoy the simple things life had to offer.
She taught me so much, made me feel so special and also (though it never seemed so great at the time) taught me how to behave.
So hug your family, my friends. Hug them, kiss them, tell them you love them and don't forget to keep reminders of them so you will always remember the times you shared.
<3 Annie Jay