Monday Moment: Saying Goodbye

We received notice on Saturday that my grandmother was in grave condition.

There’s never a good time for a family member to pass.  With that said, this was the most challenging time for me to leave.  I hemmed and hawed about whether to go.  Should I go to say goodbye?  Should I just wait and pay respects at her funeral?  What about the important two-day meeting at work I organized (Tue-Wed)?  And what about the silent auction both my husband and I have worked so hard to prepare for (this Saturday)?

I asked myself a few questions:

  1. If time/money weren’t a factor, would I want to go now to say goodbye?  To hold her hand?  To tell her how special she is to me?
  2. Can I miss the meeting, or part of it, to accommodate this trip?
  3. Can others do the work necessary to finish preparing for the silent auction?

The answer to all three were yes.

Family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues showed immense support as we swiftly embarked on our journey to say goodbye to my grandmother.  The support we received couldn’t have been better.  And we are so grateful.  For if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have been able to get to her in time.

We arrived at the hospital Sunday evening.  She wasn’t doing well.  I tended to various needs to make her comfortable.  My mom played her favorite music.  Family brought up topics that she loved, like playing bingo, watching the Redskins, and more.  It all seemed to make her a bit lively and engaged, more so than when we first arrived.  She was transferred to hospice later that night and passed away early this morning in her sleep.

I’m happy with the relationship my grandmother and I had.  Up until last year, when her situation deteriorated significantly, we spoke on the phone often.  I’d send her letters and pictures and gifts.  She did the same.  We threw a surprise birthday party for her at my home last year.  That’s the last time I saw her.  I recall such heartwarming moments, including seeing family I hadn’t seen in years, to seeing the smile on my grandmother’s face, to her squeezing my hand in the most lovely gesture of gratitude and love.

While I never want to put others out, I did just that this weekend.  I did it because they were willing to support me so that I could make the journey to say my final goodbye, to ensure she knew in her final days what a lovely soul she was, and to ensure she knew how much she was loved.

I’ve had so many memorable moments over the past few days.  From the overwhelming support to my grandmother looking at me in her final hours.  It will be a time I won’t every forget.  And I thank all of you that played a part in making the moments so special.

Peace be with you Grandma.  You lived a long life and touched many.  You are loved dearly and will be missed.

Be open to what comes.

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