i have had a really hard time posting a blog lately because i felt like i couldn't write about anything unless i wrote about the fact that my grandma passed away. the truth is that i didn't know how to write about that, but i also felt like it was wrong to write about "regular life" because my grandma june died and i feel like i must acknowledge it properly.
i didn't know how to write about her passing, because it was so different than my understanding of death and dying. my most profound experience with death was so tragic and untimely that i have not known how to process the death of my grandmother, who lived a full life and whose death was a relief of her suffering, opposed to a tragic injustice. since, in my mind, i cannot reconcile these two experiences to mean the same things, or have the same implications in my life... i will just write it. i will just tell the story.
my grandma passed while i was in michigan. thanks to my brilliant mentor, heidi, who told me to go home, i was able to say goodbye and be a support to my other family members. like a good mentee, i obeyed heidi's advice, and am so thankful for that because i feel like i was home when i really needed to be home. i spent some great time with my aunt, and in my selfish brain i think i was at least somewhat helpful to her during a time where she experienced the pain only a daughter can feel when she loses her mama. i watched my aunt diane lay next to my tiny, dying grandmother. and it was awful. but it was also beautiful.
as i sat there, and watched my aunt snuggle up next to my grandma and all i could think about was the circle of life. (trust me, i know how cliche, and lion king-esque that sounds...) but it is totally the truth. i watched them curled up together, and thought how so long ago, my grandma brought my aunt into this world in a hospital bed. how she gave life to her, nurtured her, and soothed her. and here we were now. junie and diane, holding each other, once again, in a hospital bed. but this time, diane would whisper to my grandma, smoothing her hair, telling her that it's okay to let go. just as she brought my aunt into this world, my aunt was gently guiding her out of it.
it was awful. and it was beautiful. i couldn't believe how similar birth and death really are. when someone is in labor, it is a painful and miraculous thing to behold. it was much the same watching my grandmother struggle through the last days of her life. it was painful to watch, but there was a beauty to it at the same time. and while the end of labor pains are really a beginning of new life here on earth, the end of my grandmothers pain was also the beginning of new life. just not on this earth. so to me, it still seemed something of a miracle... to see my grandmother labor and die, only to be birthed into her new life in heaven.
my idea of death has never been quiet this sweet. and i can honestly say that i am thankful that i was able to see the end of my grandmother's life. it has been healing in some way, and maybe just for the time being, i feel like telling death, "i ain't mad atchya." and as the anniversary of my brother's tragic and untimely death creeps closer, there is something to be said for that.
so, there it is. i have written the story. i'm sure it makes no sense at all, but i somehow feel free to write about all the other things jumbled in my mind. i have never considered myself a writer, but the fact that i could not move forward until that was all written down... must mean a little something.