Monday, March 17, 2008

One Month Later

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.


Queen Goob said...

I hope you were able to bring some of your grandmother’s art into your home. Losing a loved one (I lost my dad in 1999) doesn't ever get easier, it just gets less overtly emotional...except when I hear Amazing Grace played on the bagpipes. That drops me to my knees every time.

God Bless

Colleen said...

It is always hard when you lose a loved one. I take comfort in my belief that I will be able to see that loved one again. It sounds like you had a beautiful memorial luncheoun. That was really nice that your grandmother's artwork was displayed. It is always comforting to see photos of your loved one's life. My aunt created nice collages for both of my grandparents when they passed away. It helped us remember the positive aspects of their lives and brought smiles & even some laughter to those who were grieving. I hope that as you mourn the loss of your grandmother, you will be able to find joy in your happy memories of her.

Jillian said...

It is good to hear you guys are coping well. I agree with queen goob in that it doesn't get easier... I think over time you just get used to it.

It is good to remember a person the way they would want to be remembered. However, I find that I still can't look at pictures of my mom... I'll totally lose it and it's been 3 years.

I can relate to still thinking you are going to see them again at some point. I swear to God it feels like she's on vacation somewhere and she'll eventually find her way back. And even though I know she's gone for good... a part of me is comforted believing this little dream.

I hope you guys continue to be OK and hold on to the good thoughts!