Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How Do You Say Goodbye?

Last night I received a phone call from my mom- my grandma, they think, is very near death. My dad and his sisters are meeting with hospice this weekend to discuss some end of life things concerning her. Mom encouraged me to send an email to Grandma right away (she's in the nursing home and the nursing home staff will read it to her) because even now she's not very alert and is going downhill quickly.
A few minutes ago, I tried to start the email, but all I could do was cry. How do you say goodbye to someone who has played a huge role in your life? I grew up 3 miles from her- I spent a lot of time at her house as a small child and as a teenager. I loved to be with my grandparents. They were never critical of me, always accepting and a whole lot of fun. When we (myself, my brother and sister) were small, they took us on a cross- country trip to Oregon to a family reunion. They took us camping, took us to Arkansas to see my aunt. Her rhubarb pie is incomparable, as is her apple pie. Grandma was also known for her beef and noodles. The noodles completely homemade with a recipe that was passed down to her. Grandma taught in a one room school house before she married Grandpa. She was a farmer's wife- of that greatest generation. My grandpa was in the Marines during WW II and she gave birth to my aunt while he was in combat on Okinawa. She lived through some of the toughest times in our country. Most of all, she was my Grandma. She loved to spend time with her grandkids- loved to cook for us and we loved to eat her food. Grandma and Grandpa could always be counted on for a game of UNO or dominos. Grandma was a sharp card player- even up until a few years ago.
I think that saying goodbye takes courage- and at this moment, I don't have it. I don't want to let her go just yet, even though I know she's miserable. I know, that she is going from this life into even something greater. In heaven, she will have her voice back, which was taken from her after a stroke. I know this isn't the end, because one day, I will be with her there and am confident of that. Please pray for me, that I have the courage to say goodbye to her in a way that is honoring to her and that would help to give her courage to move out of this world, to be with the Lord.


Curly said...

Did you consider having the staff read this post to her? I think this post is a perfect way to tell her just how much she means to you.

Amy said...

That's a great suggestion! I asked my sister to read my post, too, to see what she thought about doing that. My sister went to see her this afternoon and said that even though she can't communicate at all, she is aware of what is going on around her. I'm still trying to build up the courage to do what I need to do.

Jill Johnson said...

Amy, I'm so sorry to hear that, and understand how you're feeling. I had one Grandma that had a stroke and could no longer communicate...and the last time I had visited her, I told her it was okay to let go. We would miss her, but it was okay, because she would be whole again. Praying for your courage and strength...and His comfort.