It's been one month since my grandmom died. Part of me feels like it's been much longer, but then the other part of me still half expects to see her at the nursing home the next time we're in CA.
My grandmother didn't want anything big in the way of a funeral, so we had a burial for her and then a memorial luncheon. My mom had prepared a collage of pictures of her for the luncheon, as well as displayed some of her artwork she had done before the Alzheimer's set in. It was good to see the pictures and artwork again. My grandmother had Alzheimer's for so long that I had forgotten what she looked like beforehand. She had a really pretty smile. In the pictures she looked so happy and full of life--it was almost like looking at a different person than the shell of the one we'd come to know over the last 10 years.
My grandmother loved art and had wanted to go to an art school when she was younger, but her father didn't think that was any way to make a living, so she went to secretarial school instead. Years later, after I was born, she went back and got her associate's degree in art. Some of the pieces my mom had displayed at the luncheon were one's I'd seen at my grandmother's house growing up, and I hadn't even realized she had made them. There were several pictures and sculptures, one of a cat that I had always thought they had bought. There were some familiar pieces too, like the charcoal drawing she had done of apples that hung in their living room for years. Hubby likes art, and I always wondered what kind of conversations he and my grandmother might have had if she was able.
The suddenness of her death has worn off--even though she had Alzheimer's, I always thought there'd be more warning before she died, and that she wouldn't just get a cold and be dead within a day. There's a sense of relief now that's more prominent. Relief that it's finally over, and that she's not suffering anymore. I still feel cheated out of the last 10 years, and I'm not really sure how long that's going to last. But overall, everyone in the family seems to be coping well--we were worried about how my grandfather would react, but he seems to be holding up pretty well. Thank you everyone for your prayers and support during this time.