The last time I saw my grandma, the last time I hugged her… was in October 2013.
Who knew that in a few short months she would not be here anymore. When she became sick I spoke to her almost every day. I heard her voice. I told her that I love her. She knew it. She knew that sometimes I felt closer to her than to my own mother.
But I could not get there in time.
Trying hard to block out the emotion–not to feel anything because I just can’t deal with this. Of course this day would come, but now… when I am so far away, it is much harder.
Ever since I was a child–she has always been there for me. Her secret, not-so-secret favorite. A lifetime of memories and always her in them.
She was spunky and tough. She was strong and opinionated, and didn’t care if you liked it or not. She was funny and we laughed a lot together. I like to think I am like her.
It’s sad. The people we love the most, those ever present in our lives,we leave them alone to be treated poorly during their last days.
A heart so heavy as I stood there in the cemetery and looked at the ashes. That is my grandma.
The marker with her husbands name. Her name next to his. She had three husbands and outlived them all.
The last time I stood in this very place was to say goodbye to her sister. They were the best of friends and at least now they are together.
The drive, all the memories along the way. Everywhere in that little town, everywhere I look, everywhere I go.
And suddenly I am transported back to the little girl sitting in the car next to her on Sunday. On our way to the farm to visit Great Grandpa Gault.
I felt very child-like and vulnerable.
My own sister told me that we each have a big death in our lives, and this one is mine.
I left early. I felt bad leaving, but I could not get away fast enough. I had to.
Even now, I feel like this is not real. This did not happen.
I cannot say goodbye.
NOTE: My Grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 Breast Cancer. It had aggressively metastasized causing additional complications which led to her death. She was being cared for briefly in a nursing home that clearly did not take very good care of her (unknown to us at the time). We are in the process of seeking answers. Had she been cared for properly, she may still be here today.