Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You're Never Really Ready

My grandma died today. Sometime after 3:30 p.m.

It's not like it wasn't expected. She's been "dying" for years now. A year and a half ago my mom pulled me out of bed and had me drive an hour to the hospital to say goodbye. She didn't die then. She's been kicked in the head by a horse. Had four kids before she was 24 and had to have a hysterectomy. She hunted. She fished. She baked.

She and grandpa worked together every day for their whole marriage - almost 60 years! She worked in their office when he ran the Petrolium business. And kept the books for their Christmas tree farm. She ordered all their findings and stones. She had great taste - I like to think she passed it on to me.

She loved to shop. She discovered the internet and that was very dangerous. She bought amazing things. It's not like they were rich but she always bought high quality.

I don't know what grandpa will do. She hasn't been home for over a year now so at least he's more used to being alone. But they were high school sweethearts. They married when she was 18 years old. It wasn't a perfect marriage - they fought and had their issues, but it was true love. Even when she had lost most of her teeth, just a few weeks ago when I visited, he kissed her square on the mouth and told her how much he loved her and how beautiful she was. He always embaressed me when he would say "isn't she sexy?" and laugh. He's been saying that since before I can even remember. She'd get all "mad" and swat at him for saying things like that in front of us grand kids. But he never stopped. I'd always say "ewwwwww...grandpa!"

I know I'm lucky. I got to know my grandma for 29 years. Heck, I got to know her mom, my great-grandma, for 18 years. But it still seems too short a time! I got so angry with her for being a hypochondriac - she could have lived for so much longer - but for her many hours in bed with "headaches." Mom finally told me that she thought grandma suffered from depression - which was never really diagnosed or treated way back when. There's so many reasons for her decline - her idiot doctor who prescribed any and all medications - even when they conflicted and made things worse.

At some point, even imaginary ailments become real when your body says "Fine...you want to be sick, I'll be sick." The muscles deteriorate. The heart starts to go. A stroke. Another stroke. A hip break. Finally unable to get out of bed even if she wanted to.

I knew it was coming eventually. She psyched us out so many times in the last three years - making us think it was her last moment. My mom e-mailed me at 2:30 saying that grandma wasn't doing well (at which point I just rolled my eyes - she's never doing well I thought). She had 104 temp and they thought it was pnemonia. Mom called around 3:00 to say that she was getting worse - she was gasping for breath and her legs were cold.

Mom was trying to get there to take grandpa to say goodbye. She didn't make it. A little before 4 p.m. she called to tell me. I was at work and even though I KNEW it was coming, I reacted by bursting into tears. WTH!

I did not even cry at the age of 8 when I found out my dad died. My grandma is the one who broke the news. Her and grandpa were my surrogate parents.

I have no idea if I'll go to work tomorrow. I keep bursting out in tears. But the work has to be done - my coworker is on vacation. And it's not like there's anything I can do right now. I'll be in charge of getting funeral invites and apparently grandpa wants me to help write the obituary. I don't really want to. It's too painful. They want a slideshow of some sort. I don't see how I can deal with looking through all the photos when she was vibrant and active.

I hate feeling this way. I feel weak and incapable of any coherent though. The next few weeks will not be pleasant. :(


Gemheaven said...

OH sweetie I'm so sorry for your loss .

I think even when we think we are prepared we're not - {{{masses of hugs}}}

Crystal said...

I'm so sorry, Megan. I know that feeling all too well, it's still fresh on my mind even though it has been 6 months since I lost my grandmother.

(((hugs))) I hope you find peace.

Jennifer said...

Megan, my heart goes out to you!!! You and your family are in my heart and prayers.


Cristine said...

I'm sorry Megan, You'll be in my thoughts. ((hugs))

Chuck Adkins said...

Hang in there... Be Strong, Grandma would have wanted that.


P.S. Here via Rachel Lucas's Blog.

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry! I just found you blog and this really hit home for me. I have been blogging about going through this myself. Maybe you can find some comfort there. Best wishes.

Sharon said...

I am sorry to hear about your Grandmother. She sounds like an amazing woman, and you were lucky to have her in your life. I didn't really have that kind of loving Grandmother relationship growing up (too long a story) so I live a little bit vicariously through friends who remember the unconditional love and great wisdom that they received from theirs. Thank you for telling me about yours!

CastoCreations said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words and comments. I am getting back in the swing of things and will be seeing my family this weekend. It will be hard but lots of memories will be shared I'm sure.

And thank you to those who found me via Rachel L! :) Gotta love her.

Rachel Lucas said...

Oh Megan, I'm so sad to hear about all of this. You know, this post right here is a good start for a eulogy, if you agree to do it. It doesn't have to be fancy. Just talk about who she was and what she was all about. I didn't even know your grandma and I cried reading your descriptions of her.

When my grandpa died a few years ago, when I had my "old" blog, I posted about it. My uncle and some other relatives happened to read it, and they printed it out and gave it to everyone. My grandma insisted that it be read at his funeral, and since I'm chicken (and knew I would bawl the whole time), my mom did it. And it pretty much was just like some of the stuff you wrote about your grandma here. She liked this, she did that. Even giving her a hard time for being a hypochrondriac - there's something sweet about that. You know? It's what makes us human, our flaws.

Anyway. I wish you weren't going through so much right now. Hang in there sweetie.