Sunday, July 7, 2013
It's hard when someone passes away, when there are so many memories, so many layers of emotions and parts of your life that come bobbing to the surface. It's been a weird, sad week in my world. First, we lost our dear friend, amongst other friends and friends of friends, and then my Grandma passed away on Friday.
Like with Andrew, I've tried and tried to put my words down and get it right, but I'm having a hard time processing all of this death in my life right now. It's so strange to be growing a new life inside of my body while watching my Grandma's life end. I was there the day before Nanny passed, and got to say goodbye. She was a shell of her former self there, sitting in that chair, unresponsive, unmoving- she looked nothing like the vivacious women I grew up with. It was upsetting.
I think at times like this it would be easier for me to believe in some sort of religion, to feel like I will see my friends or family again. To be able to pray to someone, something, anything so this could all make more sense. But I don't believe in that. What I do believe in though is the beauty of this life, now. And I believe that their spirits, souls, energy, whatever you will, it's all put back into this world, and it's part of everything I do. I can feel my Grandma around me, in the air, in the dark, in the dirt under my feet, in the dust floating in that early morning streak of sun coming through our living room window. She is everywhere.
I think about the matching dresses she would sew for my sister and me, for every holiday. I think about the cheese sandwiches on the porcelain plates, the orange-yellow couches, Mr. Wizard on the television. I remember her towel drying my sister and my hair after baths, catching frogs in the green grass, and the jelly donuts weekend mornings from the bakery down the street. She's a part of most Sunday dinners we've ever had. She's a crocheted blanket and a cup of tea, she's a cashmere sweater set and a big diamond ring. She's a New York accent and an apple pie.
I remember her always comforting me when I was little, when I felt like my "mean old parents" just didn't get me. I remember all of her stories, telling me about being born in 1920, the changes she has seen over her lifetime. I remember her and my Grandpa, the way they were, the "Helen!" and the Irish music and the bickering I always tried not to giggle over. And I'll always remember that Nanny, one of the most conservative, set-in-her-ways women I know, never once made a comment about my tattoos, which still kind of surprises me when I think about it.
Saying goodbye is hard, but I feel so grateful that I was able to do so, and I feel lucky that I've spent our time together in such a way that even though I don't believe in any promise of seeing her again, the lifetime we did have can fill my heart up for the remainder of my days.
Nanny, I love you. You will be missed.