Friday, January 4, 2013

Love is Watching Someone Die

I got the email that I've been anticipating for a while now.

My Aunt says that my Grandmother doesn't have much time left with us here on Earth. We all saw this coming, I mean, she has Alzheimer's and Cancer. It was never going to be us winning the battle of time. She emailed all of us kids to notify us that Grandmother had started spending most of her time in bed.

The end is near, she said.

The weirdest thing is, while I feel sadness, I also feel relief. My Grandmother has had these issues for a long time. I'm at a point where I just want to see her at peace. I haven't visited her in a handful of years. This might make me a terrible Granddaughter; however, I do not belief myself to have the strength to watch her fade away. Death is this great unknown. Is her leaving permanent? Bone to Dust to Dirt? Does her spirit flit about, around all of us afterwards? Does she go to some great, wide Heaven? I don't know. What I really don't know if I can watch another person that I love pass away in front of me again.

Yes, again. No, I really don't want to write about it. That story is for another day, when I have the strength and the words to write it. It will be a long ways off.

But there's this strange moment when someone passes. I don't know how to explain it past:  Do you know when you can *feel* someone walk into a room? You feel their presence? Maybe it's just me. I've been in a room with someone on life support. Where I could still feel his presence. Then I've been in the room after he died, and weirdly, *he* wasn't in the room. I couldn't feel him anymore.

I don't want to experience that with my Grandmother. I don't want to think about her going into the unknown.

My Grandmother, to me, is a warrior. She served the United States Government, and lived through a not-so-nice divorce in a time where divorce was not the normal. She was feisty, politically minded, and loved the weather channel in a way no person should... She liked having stuffed animals around her house after her beloved black cat, Inky, died. She had beautiful Auburn hair that curled and an appetite for sweets. She had four very unique children and an assortment of equally unique grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved mind games, music, and people watching. She always sat in the back of the church for services because she "could see God talking to the people from that vantage point." She traveled. She traveled some more. She loved that her Grandkids traveled the world. She did not cry in public.  I gave her my bed every Christmas when she came to visit, and in return, she would read me stories while I fell asleep on the sofa at night. Every time I saw her, she would tell me to eat carrots for my eyesight, and drink milk for my bones. She looked out for me.

She was not Alzheimers. She was not Cancer. She is not those things and I refuse to let her legacy become them.

She is my Grandmother. As I sit here, I wish I could make some great excuse as to why I won't go see her before she passes away. I don't have one past: I'm a coward clinging to her previous image.

This does not mean I am without love for her. I love her very, very much. I have missed her for a very long time. This will never, ever change. Every time I look in the mirror, I see my Grandmother's lines. She and I look very much alike, and I take comfort in genetics; in the fact that every time I look at myself I am also looking at my family.

My apologies for such a sad post, filled with so much crazy talk. I just didn't know what else to write about tonight.

Still sick in Pittsburgh,

xoxo C

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