Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I Prefer "See You Soon" Over "Goodbye"

I've been doing a bit of back and forth traveling in order to see my grandmother and I have been blessed to share some intentional time with her, my cousins, grandfather and mother.

I can't remember the last time we have all been together, perhaps my aunt's funeral 8 years ago.  Without question, way too long.

We walk away better people just having been in the company of such an articulate, exquisite woman we know as our grandma and we all share our many memories of better times than the ones we are in now.

We all experience grief, no one is exempt and unfortunately it varies in it's severity.  What many may not realize, the relationship we share with our grandmother is more than your typical birthday greeting card and the obligatory cash gift.  It's so much deeper than I could ever detail and it would take years to share all the ways in which she is our hero.  Simply put, our grandmother played a huge role in raising us.

My emotions have been all over the place, things I should have said and done rise up guilt in me. Tears over the fact that my mom and grandma can no longer share their nightly tradition of a phone call before bed,  bring me sorrow, the fact my mother is losing her mother grieves me and pictures of our grandparents together about do me in.  I cry over her recipes as I search for her famous frittata and I try to make her no bake cookies.

Now she rests in the hands of round the clock care on Hospice, in her own home.  She is comforted by our grandfather and my mother. She is being treated with the dignity and respect she deserves. Last weekend we said our goodbyes while she was still able to communicate.

I knew that time was a rare blessing, it felt sacred and holy as we, her grandchildren gathered around her bed. She was extremely aware at that time and I feel it was given to us as a gift as she gave us her parting blessings.

I am currently living in the past, ensconced in the memories we all made with her.  The banana splits for lunch, the way the evening breeze blew threw her windows as she worked in her kitchen, the way she knelt with me at age 5 to ask Jesus to come into my heart, the way she took us to day camp year after year and then to our favorite hot dog shop afterwards for lunch.


My cousin and I have been asked by our grandfather to write her obituary when the time comes.  How does one put a lifetime of love and beauty into a couple paragraphs?  How does one express that life is dimmer without our grandmother to light it?

I'm not at the point where I feel peace over the fact she is preparing to leave this world.  I will never get over it because there are some things in life one never truly gets over.

She has made an indelible mark on all the lives she has blessed and we are richer for it.

It doesn't make it any easier to say goodbye.

So instead I will say, "See you soon."











1 comment:

  1. Jessica - this past September I flew back to Ohio to say goodbye to my aunt. It was the hardest, saddest, most wonderful thing I've ever done. I'm so glad I had a proper conversation with her before she passed on. Oh - that last goodbye. I don't think anything is tougher. Blessings, friend.

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