Saturday, June 8, 2013

Weekly Update: 6-8-13

She didn't feel dead.  When I picked up my grandma's hand, the skin was not stiff like I imagined or cold.  Her fingers moved as I held them, just a bit.  She didn't seem pale, either.  She looked like she might have been sleeping, except for her eyes.  Maybe it was the way her black lashes formed dark slits, but it made her face look like a mask, with no one behind it.

My grandma's death was not a surprise.  On Sunday, Mom called and told me that Grandma was fading fast.  The whole week I listened to my phone with a sense of dread, waiting for that call.  The anxiety hit worst in the still of the night.  As I tried to form my schedule for the week, I wondered if I ought to plan for her death.  It seemed callous.  I instead decided to carry on as if nothing was wrong.  When I wrote my weekly letter to her, it was as if she were healthy and nothing was wrong.

Then on Thursday, after a long day of subbing, writing, and volunteering, my mom called me and my sister and advised us to come up at once.  The whole family was gathered at Grandma's house like it was a very solemn get-together.  Grandma lay in bed.  She wasn't lucid and couldn't really talk, so we held her hand and talked to her about the good times.   

Grandma passed away on Saturday morning.  We said our last goodbyes as the hospice workers took her away.  "Goodbye, watshino itsumo kawaii obaachan," I said.  (Goodbye, my always cute Grandma.)  I didn't cry when I saw the body, but stepping in her empty room, I did tear up a bit.  She kept all our artwork on the wall: pictures of her and grandpa with letters saying how much we loved them.  

I looked at the pohoto of when she was healthy: with her salt and pepper hair pinned up in 50s curls, her bright eyes, and dazzling smile.  That's how I will always remember her.  Not as she died, but as she lived.

No comments:

Post a Comment