Tearful goodbye

12 Oct

Stephen King said, “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better!”

The day began like each one had for the past month; normal yet uncertain.  I rose from bed, still groggy, and dressed and showered for work.  With the air still cold from the winter snow on the ground and the next storm looming, I proceeded to my frost covered car and climbed in.  The 15 minute ride to work went by in a blur, as did the first half of the day.  The fact is, when one of the people you love most in the world is sick, it becomes very hard to concentrate on much else except for their well being.  The anxiety that comes every time the phone rings, expecting bad news, is almost unbearable.  And, even after spending several evenings and weekend days at the hospital visiting her for the past weeks and watching her suffer in pain and helplessness, the knowledge of a peaceful afterlife in Heaven waiting still cannot prepare one for that fateful phone call…

“It’s time,” my mother said into the other end of the phone.  “If you’d like to see Grandma one more time, you’d better come now.”  She hadn’t even finished those two sentences before my hands clammed up, my throat got a huge lump in it and tears clouded my vision.

I’m not sure how I drove that next hour when I left work on the slick ice-packed roads to pick up my sister and head to the hospital near Westminster but I somehow did it.  I was almost in a dream; no, nightmare as I dazed my way down the recently familiar sterile white hall of the hospital ward toward her room.  With my fist shaking and my heart racing, I was about to knock on her door to go in and almost considered turning back.  How could I go in and possibly say goodbye to my Grandmother whom I had gone to for comfort, advice and reassurance about almost everything for years?  But, on the other hand, how could I not go in and be with her during whatever bit of time she had left, savoring our moments and memories?

I sucked in a deep breath and with the tears welling up in my eyes again, I gently swung the door inward and stepped inside.  Staring back at me was a room full of family.  My grandmother’s bed was surrounded on all sides with almost no room to crowd in.  With each person touching some part of her; kissing her head, holding her hand, rubbing her legs, I knew that even though she was mostly unresponsive, she could feel us there.  With so much love in the room, who could not feel somewhat relieved that if she had to pass on, than this was definitely the way to go…

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8 Responses to “Tearful goodbye”

  1. Natalie @MamaTrack October 12, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    I’m so sorry. Losing family is so hard. And the drive there is always a nightmare.

    This is a beautiful post of such a painful time.

  2. May October 12, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    Hope the love in that room helped you deal with your pain. What a tangible sign of a life well lived. Your grandmother must have been quite a woman.

  3. Melanie October 12, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    I can imagine all the love in the room, and that she felt it all. What a way to go…

    So sorry for your loss but I’m sure it must have been comforting to see her surrounded by so much love.

  4. Galit Breen October 12, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    I’m so very sorry for your loss.

    The love in the room that you described is absolutely breath taking.

  5. Cheryl @ Mommypants October 12, 2011 at 4:38 am #

    So very sorry for your loss. I am so glad she was surrounded by family and so much love.

  6. Al October 12, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    I too am sorry for your loss – but you captured the dreadful anticipation of loss so beautifully. Well done…

  7. Granpa October 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    EXCELLENT, you got it all.

  8. oregongurl (@oregongurl) October 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Oh God, I am so sorry, there really are no words. I am so comforted (gosh you are comforting me and it’s you who lost your dear grandma) by the fact that your grandmother had so much family around loving her to the other side. Hugs, from Oregon.

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