My grandma died last month. It was a stroke. She spent a few days at the hospital in pretty much vegetative state before finally passing. It’s weird sitting by someone’s deathbed, but everything went as well as anyone could’ve hoped. And it really was one of the best possible ways to go.
Grandma was always such a strong woman. Tall and physically fit and very hard-working. As a child, I used to spend most holidays with grandma and grandpa. I think I’ve mentioned before that they were one of the reasons why I turned into such a nature lover. They were very outdoorsy people, and they more or less lived off the land. Grandpa died almost 20 years ago so she was alone for a long time, but she managed. She was over 90 years old and still lived on her own and kept a fairly active life all the way ’til the end. I’m glad someone like her didn’t have to waste away slowly. Just a flash of lightning and then gone.
For several reasons I didn’t have much direct contact with her during the last few years, but at least I got to say goodbye. The first time we went to see her she opened her eyes and squeezed my hand a bit. I don’t know if she recognized me or was even conscious, but I choose to believe so.
It was a nice and small funeral. I loved that the little chapel in grandma’s town had an oil painting of a forest as its altarpiece. Seemed very fitting.
One of the weirdest things about having a close relative die must be going through their stuff afterwards. Just… rummaging through drawers and cupboards and going through every little thing. And then deciding what is worth saving and what is not. Items she probably valued very much are given away/sold/thrown in the trash. It’s necessary, but it also feels disrespectful.
I have her wedding ring now. And some other things I got from her apartment. It’s a strange feeling, that her belongings are suddenly mine. It’s the circle of life I guess, but still.
One of the funniest things we found was a huge old sickle in the nightstand! What was that for? In case of intruders? I admit I like the thought of grandma fending off a burglar with a weapon like that. 😅
My other biological grandparents passed when I was much younger, and my step-grandpa and step-grandma passed a few years ago. Now I’m all out of grandparents. Like there’s a whole generation missing now. I still haven’t figured out how to deal with loss and grief. Like, I don’t know how to feel or what I’m even supposed to do with the feelings when they come. My dad and step-mum have lost so many people in recent years I think they’ve become used to it though. They treat it as the most natural thing in the world and talk about it frequently. I’m not that chill with death yet, but I hope I too get to have that relaxed attitude someday.
For some reason, life seems easier for people who know how to handle death. But for now, I just hope it will be a long time until the next funeral.