I want to thank everyone who has been so kind and supportive during these Most Dismal and Wretched Two Weeks of My Entire Life. After 14 days in a coma, my grandmother finally passed away at 3:36 a.m. today. (I know the exact time because apparently I've been watching way too much TV and I thought a medical examiner was going to ask me or something.)
I'm going to use the word "peacefully" because the nurses told us to expect all kinds of possibly horrific things at the end, and none of that stuff happened. There were a few scary things that will probably haunt me for the rest of my life, but all in all, I'm glad I was there. My mother and I were sitting on each side of her, holding her hands. She looked really peaceful once it was all over, although I'll admit that I didn't look at her much afterward. It was the middle of the night and I was sort of freaked out and I half expected her to open her eyes and sit up and yell, "BOO!"
The inner child does not like dead people, no matter who they are.
The funeral is this weekend. I don't know how I'm going to make it until then. I just want to GET THE HELL OUT OF IOWA. I've had enough. I wrote her obituary today. Then I cried for about an hour. Then I slept for a couple of hours. Then I cried for another hour. Then I stood in the shower and cried some more. Just call me officially traumatized at this point. And wiped out. I miss her. I don't even think the word "miss" is adequate, actually. Somebody needs to invent a new word.
My grandmother was a beautiful woman with a caring spirit. She taught me everything I know about grace and generosity and what it means to be a genuinely lovely person. She had an amazing sense of humor, and when she talked to people, she made them smile — but more importantly, she made each person feel like he or she was the most important person in the world. She was my biggest cheerleader, and even in my lowest moments, she always acted like I was nothing short of amazing. She was a strong woman who taught me how to get back on my feet when life knocked me down, and she never let me forget what a gift every second of this life is, even when it sucks. As heartbreaking as this time has been, I feel honored that I got to share her last moments with her.
I hope she knew somehow that she was not alone at the end. I hope I get to see her again someday.
June 28, 2011