Though it may be very natural for some people, it is extremely hard for me to write about my life when it is sad. I had planned to write this blog more often this year, but I usually try to keep a humorous outlook on my life and family. I guess if all someone wrote about in a journal were the happy stories, you would never get a true picture of their life. When Miss Serious was very young, my parents took her picture as she was pitching a fit in her high chair – she was shocked at the ensuing image of herself. Previously she had only seen a cute, smiling Miss Serious, and this was not the picture she had in her mind of what she looked like.
On Monday, my mother called with the news that my grandmother had passed away. We knew she was ill, and she was 87 – by all accounts that is a very long time to live. But her mother lived to be 100, and as my grandmother was always healthy and a rather sassy broad, we expected nothing but the same from her. Her decline was fast and of a speed that was unexpected. She had family around her at all times, and was at peace at the end. We all knew she would not have wanted to linger and be in pain.
But I’ve discovered that all those things don’t make it any less sad. When I got to work on Monday, a colleague asked me how my weekend was. I was still so thrown by the news that I just blurted out that my grandmother died this morning. He asked me how old she was, and when I told him 87, he responded, “Well, that was a really long life. Good for her.” He is a kind, well-meaning person. I know words much like those have come out of my mouth again and again. They were not what I wanted to hear.
I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter that you’re old, or that you had been given a diagnosis and those around you knew it was terminal. It doesn’t make the people who love you feel anything other than sad. And it doesn’t make them miss you any less. And I know that I won’t use those words to anyone ever again.
We love you Grandma, and will miss you. You were outspoken and opinionated and funny. You could squeeze a nickel until it screamed and knit beautiful blankets for my babies. You helped teach me to drive and to make perfect French Toast. I still sleep under the lovely bedspread you embroidered for us when we got married. We looked through all your old pictures and celebrated your life. And we were happy and sad, and will be for a long time. It was a long life, but now I know it will never be long enough.