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Goodbye

It was below freezing outside when I crawled out of bed this morning, which may be why the tears wouldn't form when I got the phone call. It wasn't an actual conversation, just a message on my cellphone. I could tell by the way Mom spoke so slowly and carefully, by the slight quiver in her voice, that something bad had happened to somebody good. Before she could even say the name, I had figured out who it was.

My grandmother died in her sleep this morning.

I find it eerie that last night, after I took a shower at 1am, I thought of her. I thought how it would be 2 years since I'd see her last, if I made it to East Tennessee this summer. How frail she had looked the last time I saw her. How it was all I could do not to cry as she squeezed my hand in the ICU. The way her eyes had brightened when she saw me. And I imagined what I would say when they told me she had died. How I would wish I could have seen her one last time. How I should have come back to America early and visited her last summer. Should have, would have, could have, nothing.

The news of her death was nothing more than words, strange patterned sounds, that kept echoing in my head all day. I didn't have enough time to stop and let those sounds convert to knowledge and on to feeling. As I walked back from the hospital this late afternoon, the temperature rose to 34 degrees and the ice floes began to melt. It was all I could do to keep from sobbing on the sidewalk. Figures I'd run into people I knew. I've walked that path a million times and this is the first time I've seen people I know. My friends, my students. I wiped furiously at my eyes and slid my lips off my teeth in what may have passed for a smile.

I've been pretty composed today, surprisingly. Something about her death being peaceful, about it not being sudden or shocking, was nice. I didn't quite realize that she was so near death, so it did seem a little surprising, but it had been a long time in coming.

I wish I could write more about this, but the temperature is falling again, as it goes in the path of grief.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
wash_it_out
Jan. 31st, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. :(
naienko
Jan. 31st, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
Love.
vikingkitty
Jan. 31st, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
::hugs::
oddball79
Jan. 31st, 2006 03:28 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry. If you need anyone to rant/babble/talk to, you have my number.

*hug*
impishlaugh
Jan. 31st, 2006 03:51 pm (UTC)
*loving thoughts*
zachhobson
Jan. 31st, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC)
My deepest sympathies, Abby. I'm just glad she's in a much better place now.
gai_incognito
Jan. 31st, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
My condolences.
tamunra
Jan. 31st, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry.
gorgeousjoe
Jan. 31st, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry, Abby. I know nothing anyone can say can make it better, but we're all here for you.
smiley_lellie
Feb. 1st, 2006 11:22 am (UTC)
i'm so sorry for your loss.

call me if you need anything.

::hugs::
bellefrancaise
Feb. 1st, 2006 11:27 am (UTC)
Deepest sympathies, for what it's worth.
(Deleted comment)
alexakaruda
Feb. 1st, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
I'd really like to go--one of the things that really bothered me about Gramps' death was that I didn't get to go to the funeral, to really say goodbye--but I'm INSANELY busy right now, and I just can't justify a 7-hour drive both ways. I don't have 14 hours to burn. I'll think about it, though. (It might get me out of my pedagogy class, so who knows, it might be worth it.) I'll think about it tonight. If I do go, though, I'll get there late on Thursday and have to leave early early early on Friday, since I have meetings all Friday afternoon. I'd rather fly, but I don't have $500 to burn. Sigh.

Do you have somebody to be with you? My friends here have been a big help to me during the grieving process. I hope you have somebody to be with you. I miss you, sweetie. Be well.

-Your Evil Big Sister
sapphire_hime
Feb. 2nd, 2006 08:46 am (UTC)
I'm really sorry for your loss, and will not claim to know how you feel right now. I lost my grandmother a couple of years ago, and trying to deal with a silent kind of grief had been the hardest thing. I'm sorry again.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )