|Picture taken December 26, 2009
Last Monday, we lost my grandmother Rachel.
Back in August, she decided she was done. While not sick with anything specific, she was tired. IN her lifetime she's had heart surgeries, diabetes, arthritis, and dementia. And she was tired of treating it. So, she gained hospice care in her home, and spent the last two months in a slow decline.
And while we knew it was coming, it didn't make last Monday any easier, or the days after.
I got a text message from my mom with the news while I was in my fifth hour. I excused myself and called my siblings as my mom asked. And then I broke down a little in the English office. It was a few minutes later that my principal found me and then ushered me to his office with his arm around me. He let me compose myself and he arranged for a sub for the rest of the day. I drove home relatively calm, calling my aunt.
It wasn't until I got home and flung my arms around Matt that I really let myself go.
The days following weren't easy. The visitation was all day Wednesday, and the funeral on Thursday. We had a burial service in addition to mass, and that was the hardest part of the week. We all placed a red rose on her casket to say our final goodbyes. As I grasped the wood of her casket, I just sobbed.
It's hard to say goodbye to someone who has had such a profound impact on your life. My grandmother was a spirited and independent woman. Her husband, my grandfather, died 34 years ago. Every night, while she still could, she said a rosary in his name. She lit candles at church for all of us, and in the years when I was really struggling (the early years of this blog), she said extra prayers for me in hopes I would finally land the job I dreamed of.
She also prayed for Matt and I-we struggled a lot financially, and knowing she was rooting for us always encouraged me. There were many times where we would chat at family gatherings and she'd grasp my hand and tell me it would be okay-that it would all be better one day.
She loved Matt. She told me once that he was my perfect other half, and that in some ways he reminded her of my grandfather-proud, strong, and undeniably caring. She always cheered for us.
I'm not sure if it has really sunk in, and I know these things take time. But she was my last grandparent, and that is a sobering thought. Where have all my wise sages gone? Who will root for me and cheer me on? And tell me things will be okay?
I know it will get easier, but it's still a little raw and open.
I just miss her spirit and sass....but I know I have a bit of the same in me, and I suppose that makes it easier.