My Grandmother

My grandmother passed away last night. I’m not sure what exactly to say about that. She was not well and had not been well for some time. I had written this post about her last year. Over the past several years we had watched her world shrink. She moved from her own house into a retirement home (she was adamant about not imposing on her children) and from there her world shrank from the shops around the home, to the home, to her floor, to her room. In the past year it had been too much even for her to travel the twenty minutes or so to my uncle’s house.

My mother said that she feels my grandmother has been released and I probably can’t say it better than that.

I don’t have any great stories to tell about her, at least ones that come to mind now. My thinking is probably too fractured. I have little shards to pick through. Here is one: She was five and the second youngest of eight farm children, she had to hold the chicken’s head as her father (or older brother?) brought down the axe on its neck. I suppose that something so rural is indelible on a suburban mind not so accustomed to how a chicken becomes chicken.

I do not know if i feel grief the way grief is normally felt. I think I really began grieving the very first time she stared blankly at me as though I was a stranger. I knew her memory was going but that cannot prepare you for having to explain to your own grandmother who you are. So I knew this day was coming, but I still don’t know how I feel about it.


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