I lost my grandmother on March 3, 2015. I still can’t believe it. She was the only grandparent I ever had. My siblings can remember my grandfather, my sister can remember my other grandmother some. She was it for me.
For me, she has been a constant stream of laughter and good times. She wasn’t the life of the party, she was the party. Even when there was a party, she could get up and dance. She cared about everyone and didn’t take anything to heart. Whatever she was thinking, she would say it. She was never intentionally mean, but she was brutally honest. Up until the end, you knew exactly where you stood with her, and I was always pretty sure that it was on good footing.
My proud moment isn’t even my own. It’s a little sad now, looking back at these past few months. We all never even thought about her passing, she was definitely ill, but there was something about her that we always expected her to spring back somehow. She was talking more and eating more.
Anyway, when it was time for the funeral, I for one was blindsided. It wasn’t until I was getting ready that day that I realized no one had planned for the eulogy or readings or anything. And I worried about this. I worried that my grandmother’s final moments with us would pass without someone saying a word about it. I worried that no one would be there, even though I kept insisting to my family that they shouldn’t worry about it. No one could do that to her, no matter the weather or hurt feelings.
And it turned out I didn’t have to worry. From the power of email, a beautiful and moving passage came by way of my cousin reading my (I think he’s my great uncle maybe) and grandmother’s best friend. And my brother stood up from beside me, even with his chills and sore throat, completely unprepared and from the heart, and spoke before our family. And it was beautiful, and I was proud. And then my sister, pulling out her cell and wrote the words she had prepared on her drive to the funeral home. Her words made me smile and broke my heart at the same time. I am so immensely taken aback by the people they’ve become. The way they lead their lives with a strong head on their shoulders and an open heart.
I wrote a poem the day she passed. It would have been my go to if no one had spoken. I wrote a little when we drove down there too, a jumble mess of thoughts and prayers and sadness. But I am not brave. I was too broken and were they made us proud, I faltered. I got my words out, eventually, when I stood beside her stillness. I know she was proud of us often throughout our lives, and her kids’ lives, and I’m sure her other grandkids too. I don’t often feel worthy of praise, but I do hope that I can continue to make her proud. And maybe this isn’t my proudest of moments, but its all that fills my mind now.