goodbye: Grandma Mattie Lee
My grandmother passed away last night. She was in her mid-90s, so it wasn’t unexpected but that doesn’t make it any easier to accept. I don’t know if others play favorites with grandparents, but she was mine. We weren’t very close to my father’s parents, but my mother comes from a large family and throughout my single-digits to 20s, I spent summers with her, our family made visits for the odd holiday, reunion… and funeral*. She had not been in the best of health for a while, her eyesight and memory were going. When I talked to her on the phone, she knew which of her daughters’ sons I was, even if she didn’t always remember my name**, but it didn’t matter.
I have cried, a lot. I’m crying as I write this, but I don’t see this as a very sad event. She had a long life, a large loving family and was cared for right up to the end. A recent surgery affected her very strongly and she just couldn’t recover from it. When I spoke to my parents about it, it sounded like she was hanging on more for us than herself. I had a very vivid dream of her last night and I told her that I loved her and that it was ok to let go. I know it was more for me than for her, but I wasn’t too surprised to get the phone call from my father that she’d passed on.
I don’t do well with funerals more for the ceremonial aspect than the purpose. It will be nice to see family and share stories, hoping that we can put aside our personal drama for just a few days. I think the hardest part, among other things, will be deciding what to do afterward, but I leave that to my mom, aunts and uncles.
The more I talk about it, the better I feel. My close friends and even my twitter family have been very helpful considering I haven’t been very clear about what’s going on, though honestly, I didn’t know much myself. Unfortunately, her condition turned for the worse so quickly, that it was hard for anyone to know what might happen.
She left this world at home, at peace, free of pain and surrounded by her loved ones. I will miss her, but I will never forget all that she taught me, the love that she showed me and the good times we shared.
Goodbye grandma, I love you.
* Which are often colloquially referred to as “Southern Family Reunions”.
** A trait my mother (and sometimes her siblings) also seem to share, so it wasn’t senility.