Last Wednesday night (the 25th) my grandma was admitted to hospital with ‘failure to thrive’. She was very weak and just didn’t have enough energy left to carry on, on her own. The next morning my good friend was admitted to hospital at 34 weeks pregnant with a condition that threatened to necessitate the immediate delivery of her twin babies. I found out about both situations early on Thursday morning and what a weird day it was.
On one hand, I was very weepy about my grandma. It was definitely not a shock that she was failing as she her health had been on the downhill for a couple of years. She had been so tiny and weak - we weren’t sure what was keeping her going – but she kept telling my mom she wasn’t ready. She was a stubborn woman and I always knew that as soon as she decided she was ready to go, she would, and hopefully quietly in her sleep. She had only told my mom last week that she thought maybe it was time; that she was starting to feel ready, so no, it wasn’t a surprise. But still, it is my grandma and more painfully for me, my mom’s mom. I went through this only last year as my dad lost his mother and it’s the same feeling; just thinking about my own parents losing their parents. This time around, it was my last grandparent and to top it all off I feel so far away. Many things like this have happened since we moved to Newfoundland; deaths, seizures, strokes... and it is so hard to be away from family when you know that back home, things are busy, changing and emotional.
On the other hand, while my grandma tried to leave the world, my two teeny tiny new friends were trying to enter it... but much too soon! It did turn out that they had to be delivered on Friday and thank the Lord, and even at 6 weeks early the babies were incredibly perfect. While I knew my mother sat bedside in a hospital watching her mother give way to the end of life, I sat bedside in a hospital holding these perfect, brand new babies and pondering the long life and exciting times ahead of them. I am so very blessed to be allowed to spend so much time with them! (I try not to go twice a day and it’s hard.) They are so very tiny (5-10 and 4-11 before in-hospital weight loss) but I’ve been able to feed them and change them and have amazing, tiny baby cuddles.
Yesterday my grandmother passed away, she was almost 94! My mom and aunt were able to make it for the end and mom said it was incredibly peaceful and painless. I am very thankful that it didn’t drag for weeks and weeks and become a case of suffering, but I am so sad that my mom and her siblings no longer have parents and I really wish I could be with them now.
I am not sure how I feel about death, but I seem to be encountering it a lot lately. I am not certain on what I think it is, was or should be. I am not sure what happens afterwards or if any of the perfect scenes I was taught as a child are actually what I believe to be true. I have lots to think about at a time like this and have been challenged to think more on it by friends with ideas different than my own. I do know that as I watch the beginning of one cycle and the end of another, I cannot change it, stop it or wish it away (and no, I won’t start singing Elton John for you...)