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Grandma's memorial

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My grandma died December 3rd of this past year. As the ground was frozen, we couldn't bury her urn then. So we decided to have a memorial (...go figure) this weekend now that we can place her ashes in the ground. I don't think anyone has put much thought into the structure of the ceremony, so I wrote something tonight. I'd appreciate any suggestions or commentary, really.

I still can’t believe she’s gone. It’s been almost six months, and I don’t think of her as not here. When I think of my grandmother, I see her as she usually was, in the kitchen, directing her family around her.

And still is, at least to me. I’ve noticed that, since December 3rd, I’ll be going about the most mundane tasks, and hear my grandma’s voice. Not as words in my head, but as suggestions and commentary. I’ve become slightly obsessed with cleanliness – I got down on my hands and knees to scrub my floor the other day, as I knew it was one of the things she hoped we’d inherit from her. I’ve tried to cook, another thing I know she wanted to pass on. But as I have nothing uplifting to say in light of my attempts, we’ll just continue on.

She was a great believer in home remedies. Salt water for a sore throat, green tea for general health, local honey to ward off seasonal allergies. And as I watch scientific reports continue to come out confirming the validity of these cures, I can see her smiling and shaking her head at the obviousness of what she already knew.

Her voice and will was strong enough to carry her through cancer. When I look at pictures of her after she lost her hair, after she was confined to a wheelchair – I struggle, because I can’t remember –seeing- her that way. She was herself through the end of her life, instructing us how to do the things the way she would have done around the house, chastising the television reporters, laughing at herself and what I think she saw as the absurdity of her situation. And making others laugh. When my friend Abhi was up for Thanksgiving, one of her favorite holidays, a milestone she insisted on making, even though our family spent that day quiet and subdued, she heard that my father was going to take the poor subtropical boy hunting the next morning, she spoke loudly from her bed “Don’t let ‘im freeze youâ€. Even the night she started slipping in and out of the coma, and we thought that she had already gone, she was still herself. Frustrated by the light of the television, she kept grabbing my hand and raising it to her face. I misinterpreted it, thinking she was in pain, yelling at my father to come over, at which point she dropped my hand, grabbed his, and pulled it up over her eyes. We turned the television off very shortly after that.

And her voice now, still speaks with that slightly amused, slightly brow beaten tone. My grandfather has “adopted†several stray barn cats, putting food out for them nearly everyday. I was teasing him one afternoon, telling him that I was going to come over sometime and find him with a lap full of kittens. He started laughing, and said that grandma would still not stand for that. I joined in, giggling myself, saying that grandma not only would NOT stand for that, but would crawl out of the urn and shoo them all out of the house. The picture in my head, of grandma in front of the sink, hearing this conversation, shaking her head, and stressing “There will be NO CATS in THIS HOUSE†was so vivid it was almost auditory.

I had a dream, a day or two after she died, where she was standing in front of the phone, full head of hair, looking into the living room at me and smiling, telling me that it was okay, she wasn’t in pain anymore. And there is no doubt in my mind that it WAS my grandmother, looking me in the eyes, saying those exact words.

She speaks so loudly at times, that when I went to write this last night, and poured a tiny bit of whiskey in a glass to help, that I could even hear her NOT speaking to me.

So I stand here today, not believing that she’s gone. Not because I’m in denial, but as a testament to the strength of character she has, and the person she was, that is still here.
post #2 of 7
It is a lovely tribute to a much loved Grandma.
post #3 of 7
I just lost my Dad this month so I know how you feel. My sympathies hun.
post #4 of 7
I'm sorry about your Grandmother, it sounds like she had a great impact on your life and will continue to guide you, I believe they never really leave us
post #5 of 7
That is beautiful! It sounds like your grandmother was quite a woman. You do her proud.
post #6 of 7
Wow, that was a beautiful tribute to her It is obvious in your post how much you loved and respected her.
post #7 of 7
That's beautiful!
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