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. :(