My Grandma Passed Away This Morning…And My Mind Makes It About Me
Guilt is warring with the sadness. It’s not what she would have wanted.
I was close to my paternal grandparents, both literally and figuratively. I just got the news that my grandma passed away, joining my grandpa, who died several years ago after a mercifully brief bout of very aggressive cancer.
When I was about five, we moved from Texas to my dad’s home town in California. Our moving van was stolen along the way. It was my grandparents, who lived only about a mile up the hill, who organized the community so a big pile of clothes, toys, and (most importantly) a replacement original Nintendo was waiting for us when we got there.
My grandpa was brash and loud and funny. After teaching high school biology for 40 years, he was always ready with a crass joke or a gross story.
My grandma was always the one to look at him askance to shout, “Doug! Stop that!”
I Forgot To Call Last Week
So many memories are flowing through my mind right now, but the only one that keeps coming up again and again is the most recent one:
It was her birthday last week and I forgot to call.
It wouldn’t have taken much to do. Just five minutes or so. But life is busy, and I kept saying that I would do that later. Then later passed on to more laters. And now it’s too late for that.
Death is for the Living
My wife has said on multiple occasions that she just wants to be wrapped in a shroud and tossed in a hole when she dies. But she has also said that it’s really up to those who survive (most likely our kids…women in her family outlive the men).
For those of us who live, we have to figure out how to grieve and move forward with our new reality.
And I know that my Grandma would be the first person to tell me that it was okay that I didn’t call. This was a woman who had to carry her three young kids when my grandpa was in a TB hospital for over a year, close to death. Who had to figure out how to work and support everyone during a time when women were still looked down on for working outside the home. Yet continued with her positive attitude and love. Who was always the first with a kind word, whether it was for her best friend or a stranger on the street.
Death is for the living to process. It’s up to me to continue on, to push forward with her legacy.
And, with time, get over the fact that I didn’t make the phone call.
Maybe next time I’ll stop pushing it off until later.