Beginning at the End, Ending at the Beginning

Funny thing, death.

Even as it marks a definitive and complete end, in many ways, it marks a beginning.

A beginning  of life after death.

Whenever someone close to you dies, at the instantaneous moment, YOUR life begins anew.  The more significant that person is in your life, the more significant the new phase you begin.

You lose a distant uncle of your brother’s baby momma side, not much change to your life.

Lose a parent, a spouse, or a child Your new life becomes unrecognizable.

Then there are those curious situations where you lose someone who is very very important to you, but for various reasons they don’t have the tangible impact on your life that your emotional attachment to them might indicate.

I got a call from my mother that I had been half expecting for several months now.  Grandma went to the hospital and it didn’t look good.

When you reach the ripe old age of ninety, when it doesn’t look good, it really doesn’t look good.

For me, it was about preparing yourself for the transition.

Grandma will be gone, soon, so find out what that means to you asap and start preparing for that reality.

I had about 6 days before my mother called again and told me it was important that  I come now and not wait until her 91st birthday on January 17.  My sons were already there with my mother and many of my cousins had already made the journey from wherever they went to escape our hometown of Pittsburgh back home.

I decided I had better follow suit and get up to Pittsburgh on the quickfast.

of course quickfast ended up being 11:50 PM ET on December 31.

You want to put a fork in New Years?  Get off a plane at ten minutes to New Year’s and then spend 90 minutes waiting for church to let out so you can get picked up.

Once I got home, I realized I had done the right thing.  I was probably the last person who saw Grandma and knew definitively that Grandma saw me back.

Once I brought the kids in the room and we hugged her one more time.  It was a wrap for me.

But then comes the pre-mourn.

The pre-mourn is the period when you try to avoid mourning someone who isn’t actually dead yet.

You kinda treat them as though they have already gone on, but they are right upstairs.

Sorta.

So you wait.  January 1 becomes January 2 and then January 3.  the year has started and the novelty has worn off but you are sitting through bowl games afraid to do anything that remotely resembles celebrating or moving on.  Ive been itching to write about grandma, but I felt like I was putting her in the grave before her time.

I took the boys back to the ex a day early because I didn’t want the kids to be there when the man with the stretcher came.

Once I did that, my blood pressure spiked, I could feel the moment coming.  and at 9:55PM last night, Grandma Ink went home to be with the Lord only two weeks short of 91 years.

Grandma was my other mother, much as grandmas around the world are to children of single parents.

I inherited my random indistinct nose, and my gift to serve people, and  my yellow from her.

She was nice enough to spare all her children and grandchildren the red-hair, and the freckles.

Now that Grandma has left me, I can start the year off.

A little Sad, a Little awed, but a lot relieved.

5 comments

  1. Jonzee

    That preparation that you talk about, its like I have been waiting with baited breath for the moment someone calls me to tell me that either of my grandparents is “not good”. Though I have both parents, as a wee tike, my father went where IBM told him and that often meant long assignments in other places. Grandpa, Granny, and my uncles and aunt all stepped in. I have been blessed with three fathers and two mamas.

    It may seem morose, but sometimes I feel the pain of that one day coming loss and it makes me want to cry uncontrollably.

  2. Jonzee

    I am sorry that Granny Ink passed, but I know you were happy to be home to see her one more time.

    That preparation that you talk about, its like I have been waiting with baited breath for the moment someone calls me to tell me that either of my grandparents is “not good”. Though I have both parents, as a wee tike, my father went where IBM told him and that often meant long assignments in other places. Grandpa, Granny, and my uncles and aunt all stepped in. I have been blessed with three fathers and two mamas.

    It may seem morose, but sometimes I feel the pain of that one day coming loss and it makes me want to cry uncontrollably.

  3. tjsthings

    My husband’s father had a second heart attack a year or so after we got married. We were on notice for the next ten years or so, trying to prepare ourselves for the day we all knew was coming more likely sooner than later. I’m sorry for your loss.

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