7/11 started good – but quickly went downhill. My grandmother passed away this morning after a long down hill slide into poor health and pain. I got the news by cell phone at work. it was delivered bluntly and without feeling. I had prepared for her death, so the initial shock was muted. I traveled to my sister’s house, where my Grandmother had passed way, to help console my family. It was a good experience, a positive experience, even seeing her in death was a good experience. She died surrounded by the love of her family. I felt good when I left. Of course, I needed a good long nap at home this afternoon before I became human again; it seems that the stress snuck up on me during the day.
I am currently sitting through a thrilling lecture on international money markets at B-school tonight in Irvine. The lecture is fading in and out on me. I need to pay attention, but cannot seem to focus. Even with the lecture, I think of my Grandmother’s death. I feel strangely at peace with her death. I have no regrets; I don’t feel a since of loss, in fact I feel very little. Her death feels natural, her death feels right. My Grandmother was quite old; she lived with constant pain, and suffered from problems related to Parkinson's disease. All this ended today – it is actually a relief.
I spent a lot of time listening today. Listening is a healthy way to help others and myself process the reality of death. I also thanked a number of people who helped in the process of easing my grandmother into death. I cannot imagine what it means to be a care giver of that stature. My sister did it for years, her friend Jan helped over the years. Several others actually participated in her care on a daily basis. Thanks are just not enough. These people, some family, some friends, some strangers, did great things. They deserve more than just thanks – but in my current damaged state, this is all I have to offer.
Now to the business of death – that’s a whole different matter. I’m sure we have some dreary business ahead of us.
RIP - Ruth Stafford