10.11.2013

Loss

Stuff is hitting me hard right now.  I’m incredibly grateful for all the good in my life – Cady, Hubs, my family, my friends, my job and coworkers, my home... There is so much to be grateful for.  And I don’t know if it’s still hormones or just parenthood itself, but everything, the good and the bad, feels so much more vivid now.  It’s a good thing, but it is hard to keep it together sometimes, and to let things go other times.
 
The biggest thing on my mind is that I lost my maternal grandmother this week.  It was expected, she was pretty old and had been on hospice for a few weeks, and before that she’d been bedridden for months.  Of course it’s still hard to lose a loved one regardless of how “prepared” you are. 
 
She’s my namesake and I look more like her than any of my siblings or cousins do.  I sometimes catch glimpses of myself in the mirror or see one of us in a photograph and notice how similar our gestures and body types are.  I love that.  I hope I’m like her in other ways.  She was so real, down to earth, funny, witty, genuine, strong... It also took her five years to get pregnant, but once she did she went on to have 9 children.  She used to call my grandpa Babe, “because,” she told me, “when he was younger, he really was a babe.”  She told me how marriage was hard and that there were times she wanted to throw in the towel, but she stuck with my grandpa because she told the preacher she would.  She was a gifted painter, a woman of faith, independent and loving, and always had the good gossip on everyone in the family.  I know my grandpa is excited to have her with him again, and I’m sure she is so happy to see him as well after the last few years of being apart.  It’s comforting to think that he was there waiting for her when she passed away.
 
She met Cady a couple of times, and I am so glad for that.  We went to visit her a couple of weeks ago and she was still lucid, and clearly happy to see the baby.  I was also able to see her one last time the day she passed.  Unfortunately she wasn’t conscious, and her labored breathing made it pretty clear she didn’t have much time left.  Her caretaker told me she hadn’t been really awake (her eyes would open occasionally but it was more of a “blank slate” she said) in 6 days.  But I believe she heard me when I told her I loved her and that I would miss her.  I felt much better having gone, and then that night when we were all in bed, I woke up feeling very strongly that there was a female ‘presence’ in my room.  I frequently think I feel spirits and have never really been sure I believed they were real or that I’m just paranoid, but the next morning I saw that I missed a call from my mom at 11:30 p.m. with a message saying my grandmother had passed away.  And now I believe it wasn’t a coincidence, she was stopping by to check on us.
 
I decided a few years ago that when my grandma passed away I was going to change the spelling of my name to match hers.  I was named after her, but for some reason my parents gave me the traditional spelling of Mary, and hers is spelled Mari.  I talked to my parents a few months ago to make sure they were okay with it, and my mom said, “I don’t know why I didn’t spell it that way to begin with!” So now it’s time.  I am pretty excited, and hopefully it’s not too much of a pain to do.  The funeral is next Thursday.  Is it wrong to look forward to it?  I just want to be near her one more time I guess, and to talk to my family members about her, hear their memories of her, be in her house...
 
Lately I’ve been philosophizing a bit about immortality... We’re each made up of all of the people who came before us, so we’re a little piece of immortality and timelessness as we carry that DNA (if we’re related by blood) and/or memories and knowledge (if we’re not).  So I guess, my grandma isn’t really gone, because I carry part of her with me.  I like that.

6 comments:

rainsthoughts said...

I am so sorry you lost your grandma. Yes, you will carry a bit of her always! (((HUGS)))

Christina said...

So sorry about your loss!

Emily said...

So sorry for your loss! Sending prayers your way!! Sounds like you have a ton of good memories!

Allison said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Kitty. What a wonderful tribute.

Anonymous said...

Awww ((((((KITTY))))))) Tons of prayers for you and your family. I am so very sorry for your loss. The fact that she is so deep in your heart means she will be with you forever. I think it is really awesome that you are changing your name to match hers, and I just know she is honored and sending her love down to you!!

xoxoxo Jen

Kate said...

So, so sorry for your loss - you're right. It's always hard no matter how prepared we are. Carry her with you, think of her often.