Wednesday, January 11, 2012

saying goodbye.

Saying good-bye freaking sucks.

Saying good-bye to a lady that you adore, really freaking sucks.

But we did it. And we survived.

I went to Savannah for Christmas because I knew that my Grandma wouldn't be around much longer. I knew it. But knowing it, and then getting the call that it will be anytime now are two entirely different things.

When hospice let us know that it was a matter of days, most of my family made their way to Savannah. My aunt that lives there picked up my aunt from Texas who flew back just days after returning home after Christmas. My Dad managed to get down there pretty quickly and my Mom followed.

I have to admit, I struggled big time with whether I should go back down. But my husband said it best; I said my good-byes at Christmas. I knew it was coming. Did I really want to go and watch her pass??

I decided not to go. I would wait til things looked very close to the end and then I would head down there.

On Friday, January 6th, I got a text from my Dad that it was getting pretty close. I called Mr. P at work and he immediately came home (love that man so). We packed everybody up and hit the road.

I was just outside of Columbia when Mr. P's phone rang. It was my Dad and she was gone.

I felt like a truck hit me. Like I got the wind knocked out of me. Bad thing is, I was driving and suddenly I couldn't even see the road because I was sobbing. My heart broke.

I pulled over and just sobbed while Mr. P held me. In that instant I beat myself up because I should have been there, but then I realized that was crazy and there is no part of me that wants to be there for that. Plus, it was good that it was just her and her husband and kids. I am now completely okay with that.

So we finished our ride down (Mr. P at the wheel now). When we got to the house, I felt it again; that absolutely crushing sadness. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't be in her house with her there. It wasn't right.
*The sunset at Grandma's house the night she died*

The next few days were a blur of arrangements and family and friends and food. Man was there ever food. I'm so lucky because my best friend basically became my child's caretaker when I couldn't do it. I'm so thankful for her. I'm so thankful for Mr. P making me laugh when I almost forgot how.

We did all the things that family has to do. Not fun but all necessary and even in the middle of all that sadness there was laughter as we shared stories, poured over pictures, and just remembered her. And all that was so, so good about her.

Eventually the day came to say good-bye.

It's never easy but there is good to be said when so many people come to show their support and love for your loved one. There was so much love in that room. And though I couldn't help but sob as I followed her out of that room for the last time, I couldn't have been more pleased with how we all honored her.

I sent BG out of the service pretty early with C. She was just tired and spent so I knew it would be best. As she sat out there with C, she cocked her head and listened to the service playing on the speaker in hall. At that moment, my sweet girl said "bye bye Grandma. I love you." before laying her head on C's chest and giving in to sleep. She knows. Somehow in her way, she has some sort of clue.

That night we were surrounded by so much family and good friends who are basically family. The only one missing was her. I guess that's the way it is now..

Eventually the laughs got louder as we all relished in just being together. BG's giggles won out over crying, the children playing got louder than could be ignored, and the smiles came back a bit. In that moment I knew; we'll get through this. Because a good life, is what Grandma loved. And I'm sure as hell going to live one for her.

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