I spend most Sunday afternoons with my parents, and today was no exception. On the surface of things, it was a normal Sunday visit.
The exception to today’s visit is that my Mom’s mother passed away this evening.
Granny turned 96 years old this summer, and she hadn’t been doing too well though she’s been living at home with my cousin’s help. This week she quit eating or drinking and ended up in hospice care pretty quickly. After several days of being unconscious, she passed away peacefully in her sleep.
Before you feel too badly for me for having lost my last remaining grandparent at the advanced age of 50, let me tell you what else made this visit to my parents today even more exceptional.
I don’t feel any grief for her death. I know she lived a good long life, having outlived my Grandfather by 20+ years. She had a tough time in recent years health wise, and struggled to be able to stay living at home. I know that she is at peace now and I don’t have any sorrow about that.
The grief I feel is that I didn’t get a chance to get to know her, or my Grandpa, very well. They lived half a country away, and we weren’t close to that side of the family. I was very close to my Dad’s family because they were right here.
Distance makes a difference, especially when your Mom is semi-estranged from her family. I don’t even really know my cousins on that side of the family either.
If I could go back and make any changes in my life, if would be to make a better effort to really generate, and maintain, a relationship will all of the folks on that side of the family. It might have been a little difficult, but it would have been worthwhile to do.
There is no point in crying over spilt milk, but I can feel grateful that Granny isn’t suffering anymore, and I can feel grateful for my Mom (who feels a lot of things about her mother) that relief seems to be the topmost feeling she exudes, if so very subtly. We will see how that bears out in the coming days.
Faithful Readers, I’d like to propose a toast to my Granny, who loved to drink… Swift journey and safe passage on the way to the Hereafter.
…and another for my mother, who isn’t a drinker at all… here’s to she who endured much at the hands of her own mother and survived to see this day.