Monday, February 28, 2011

dealing with death

Growing up, I was doted on by all four of my grandparents.  On my dad's side of the family, I was the baby, born of the baby.  I spent a month every summer with my grandparents, visited them several times a year, and was the apple of their eye.  I practically lived with my mom's parents until I was 9, when my grandfather died.  My grandmother was a homemaker, and watched me while my mom worked.  Since my mom was a single mom and my dad wasn't very good about sending the meager child support he was supposed to pay, sometimes that would be my mom working 2 or 3 jobs at a time.  The majority of the time that I wasn't in school, I was at my grandparent's house.  And on weekends we were together, camping, going to boat or camper shows, etc.  I adored my grandfather, and I loved my grandmother.

Once my grandfather died, we moved back to my parent's home state, and over the next several year my dad's parents passed.  I was sad, I loved them so much, but I was young and resilient.

In early January, my grandmother went into the hospital with a collapsed lung.  After three weeks, a minor heart attack, a bit of time on the ventilator, and a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis, she was released to my mother's house with hospice on a Saturday.  On Wednesday evening she passed away.

Her passing was bittersweet.  She was 86 years old, and had lived a full life.  She wasn't in much pain, and she wasn't suffering for a long time....but it's always sad when people pass.

It's amazing the work that goes into burying the dead.  Three weeks and lots of work later, it seems to mostly be resolved, but wow has it been a lot.  

In a few months, my mother and I will be sitting down to discuss her wishes.  My grandmother refused to do this, and I really feel that it made it harder for my mom.

RIP Grandma.  I do love you.

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