It’s a typical Monday (January 4th,2016) afternoon for me at work. I was holding a patient waiting for the doc and technician to come back for the exam…my phone buzzed and I saw there was a voicemail from my grandparents in Oklahoma…not thinking too much about it but that it was a little odd they were calling me (they typically only email)…I listened to the voicemail. It was my grandmother telling me that my great gram passed away earlier that morning…she was 96 years old.
I now knew what it felt like to have your life changed in a matter of seconds…It was just like in the movies…The room starts spinning, you don’t know what to do or say so you sit there in disbelief for minutes but it feels like days…”I can’t believe this. I can’t believe this. I can’t believe this….” I stood in that room for what felt like eternity until finally someone came into the room. I tried my best to hold it together but it was clear that my coworkers could see my pale face and tears welling up. I felt nauseous and light headed. Like I was going to black out. The instant I said the words, down they came. The flood gates were officially open and I was NOT Okay.
Now my Gram was 96 years old! She lived a long and AMAZING life! But I need you to understand one thing, she was tough! I mean she was as independent as they come and she was the most wonderful person anyone could ever know! She was beautifully intelligent and sweet. She was honest and caring. She was loyal and devoted to her friends, her family, and her beliefs. She was such a strong woman. I could only hope to be as strong a woman as she was! I knew she was up there in age and I guess I should’ve been more prepared for this…but I wasn’t…I don’t believe anyone really could ever be!
The night before, I was told she was in the hospital and was going to be transferred into hospice care in the morning…she never made it. I don’t know all the details bc I don’t think I want to know, if I’m really being honest with myself.
My husband and I were unsure if we would be able to make it to the funeral, which was just impossible for me to accept. But by the grace of God and the help of family, we were able to be there with the rest of our family to lay her to rest. The funeral was beautiful, from what I can remember…I’m sure it was exactly as she wanted it. She was buried in the ground next to her husband, (my great grandfather who I never got to meet). It was extremely difficult to focus any attention on anything going on that day. I remember two things about her funeral…the drive to the cemetery and the song that was sung at the church…On Eagles Wings. I don’t remember what the Priest said, I don’t remember who I was sitting beside at the plot, I don’t want to remember any of it really, except her smiling face and the twinkle in her eye whenever I saw her, as a little girl.
I miss her so much. It’s unbelievable. I honestly never knew, or had any idea, just HOW painful losing someone who means so much to you actually was…I never realized the grieving process was so real! I am so sad some days and then I’m more angry than I’ve ever been in my life in the same day! And more than anything I hate myself for never visiting her all the times I should have! Losing someone to the Heavens above SUCKS. So much. I know that’s selfish but I don’t care at this point. I am happy she didn’t suffer and that she had such a wonderful life. But I am not okay with so many other things!!! This is going to take a while…isn’t it?