Tuesday I lost my grandmother. When we are as old as our parents, or maybe older, we view death with a certain wisdom, a knowledge of the circle our lives must make to return us to whatever you believe our beginnings were, but as youths we're a bit too "in the moment" for that kind of transcendent acceptance, as I discovered this week.
In my arrogant forethought on the matter, I viewed my grandmother's progression toward death with a kind of detached logic. She had lived a good long life, aged gracefully, and seemed prepared for her imminent departure to the next world. I knew her death would be gentle, peaceful, not sudden, but soon. Knowing ahead meant I felt ready. That I would accept the news with dignity, in complete control of my feelings, which would be a mixture of appropriate sadness and delicate relief at her release from the tiredness and weakness of age. Labeling my emotions in advance made them fit easily into manageable portions. There would be no awkward scene, no blubbering. I was ready to let go of her, I was sure.
How utterly ridiculous of me.
I miss you, Phyllis Grace. Watch over my son, that he might know your love. Peace be with you. Peace be with us all.