August 14, 2012 by UtahMan&Wife
Sometimes words simply aren’t sufficient to express how we are feeling. Especially when life brings grief to our doorstep. So, we’re starting this post with a song, and a prayer.
Last Friday afternoon, August 10, I left work early. UtahMan and I drove as fast as we [legally] could to get to the bedside of my sweet Grandma. She had stopped eating and drinking on Monday evening, and had slipped into a deep sleep by Wednesday, so we were warned it would not be long before her body stopped living . The doctor had given her morphine and other pain killers to make her “as comfortable as possible“, and she was sleeping peacefully when I arrived. I said hello to my mother and my grandfather who were keeping vigil. I walked to the bed and took Grandma’s hand. Within less than a minute she quietly took her last breath and slipped away. It was so simple and sudden, we weren’t sure what had just happened. But, the nurse confirmed it was true. And then, she was just…gone. I will always feel thankful to have been there by her side in that moment. She had watched over my sickbed so tenderly for so many years as I was growing up. It’s comforting to have been able to do something small in return.
Grandma lived 87 years on this earth and was an amazing woman. Her love and devotion to her family is a treasure beyond price. She and Grandpa met and married during WWII. Their courtship and life-long companionship is a beautiful love story. They shared 69 1/2 years together, and creating a legacy of 5 children, 19 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren (and counting)! Grandpa is 9 years older than Grandma. At age 96 (almost 97) we were certain he would be going first. And yet, there he was, faithfully sitting by her side, holding her hand to the end. He was fully alert the moment she passed on, and painfully aware that he was left behind.
I heard him whisper, “I love you sweetheart. Don’t go far. I’ll be there soon”, as a tear trickled down his cheek.
It was a tender, sacred moment to be in that room for this “life” event. After all, death is part of life. We know that fact. And yet, isn’t it strange how we never think it will really happen to us – or to the ones we love the most?
“How can my heart just keep beating? Why am I still here? How am I supposed to go on without her?”, grandpa cried.
I couldn’t give him an answer, I could only cry with him.
Although I cannot see Grandma any more, receive one of her bear hugs, hear her funny laugh, or enjoy that sparkling, mischievous look she got in her eyes right before she said something witty…I feel her presence all around me. She has been our family’s angel on earth, and now she is our angel in heaven.
Her funeral will be later this week. I’ve been asked to sing, so I’m trying to find the perfect song that won’t make me break down into a sobbing mess. I’ve always felt it’s only fair that we all get to attend our own funerals, so I’d like to do a really nice job for Grandma – sing something she will enjoy – as my last gift to her. I can’t guarantee there won’t be tears, but I promise to do my best.
I feel at peace. I believe Grandma is in a very happy place and that she is preparing everything beautifully for Grandpa’s homecoming, just like she did for so many decades together. I truly hope they will be reunited soon. It’s heartbreaking for them to be separated.
I love you, sweet Grandma J. – forever and ever and always. I know I have to let you go and say goodbye for now, but you will never be forgotten.
I’ll carry you in my heart.
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