19 February, 2013

Saying goodbye. . .

She was the matriarch of my family, the queen, mother to all, the glue that held us all together, the tough cookie who always forgave and opened her heart and mind to those around her. She was my rock, my friend and my biggest fan. She was the grandmother who I eventually called Mom :)

It has been two weeks and one day since she left this earth, since my heart broke and my perception of life changed. I feel so differently about life right now, I can't really explain it. I have cried every single day since she left. Some days are a bit easier than others. I'm getting a little better each day, but it still hurts my heart tremendously. I was not prepared to say goodbye so soon. I know that no one is really ever prepared to say goodbye, but I guess a small part of me never imagined life without her.

I still can't believe she is gone. *sigh* I never imagined I could miss someone so much and I never imagined it would hurt this much. I know the days will get better, as they feel differently each day already. I have felt grief before with my miscarriages and infertility, I understand that it's something that will always be a part of me. There will be many good days ahead *sigh* it will just take some time for my heart. . .

We had a very close relationship. I have been visiting my Grandmother every week for the last 4+ years, with the exception of being sick or being on vacation. I would do things that she needed, make her food, watch TV in bed with her, talk to her and listen to her vent about little things in life, tell her it was going to be okay, and how much I loved her. I felt sad that she was lonely at times, and I knew she enjoyed my company. she just needed someone to talk to more than anything else - I knew that about her. That is why I visited her, even on the days when I felt tired and worn out from work, I'd still go and feel better once I got there. If I was in a bad mood when I got there she would always talk to me and ask me why, and make me tell her all about it. No matter what it was, she'd always make me feel better :)

I think when I got to a certain age in my 20's I realized how much older she was getting and that's when I started making it a point to visit her at least once a week. In the beginning it felt like more of an obligation, but over time I grew to really enjoy our visits, I looked forward to them, to just sitting and talking or just sitting with one another while she watched her shows. We talked every other day. She was and always will be the best Mother I could have ever asked for. She was hard on me growing up and good lord we had some turbulent times, but we grew into amazing friends. I always felt extremely protective of her and I will always have a great respect for her as a woman, mother and human being! We talked about all things in life; love, relationships,  religion, sex, life, politics, hope. . . she was blunt sometimes and didn't like to hide her feelings, she wasn't shy and she always told you the truth even if it might hurt your feelings a little bit Inside and out she was a beautiful person who was flawed like any one else, but she knew she was flawed and that is what made her so beautiful. She lived her life for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  She loved with every fiber of her being and I will truly miss her until I am old and gray. She was not my birth mother, but raised me as her own and was the only mother I knew until I got to be 16 and started to get to know my real Mom. Even after meeting and getting to know my, Mom. . . I still went to my grandmother for everything, I mean after all, she was my mom and she knew every little thing about me, every embarrassing detail, every fear and every joyous moment of my life.

Yesterday, February 17th, I planted a yellow rose bush in my back yard, well, actually I planted two. The yellow (her favorite rose), and an orange one that will remind me of who she was in the last part of her life. She loved bright colors and really became attached to the bright orange, so when they bloom this year, I will know that she is with me.

I have tried to blog since her death, but I just haven't known what to say. So I think I'll write out the events of what happened. . . as a way to remember, and get it all out somewhere.

On February 3rd I called my grandmothers phone at 9:20 in the morning, she didn't answer. I called her the day before and she sounded disoriented and sleepy, so I let her go and said I'd call her in the morning. I called my Dad a few minutes after she did not answer, I was worried. When I called he was already there and being let into the apartment, because she didn't answer my Dads calls. I was on the phone and heard everything as it happened, she was there on the floor, cold, lifeless. . . gone. Gone. Just like that my world came crazing down in an instant. My Dad sounded so lost, he kept saying "she's cold, she's cold, she's gone"  I wanted to run to him, to her, but there was nothing that I could do, she was already gone. I was sitting in the computer room with Josh when I made the call to my Dad. I jumped out of the chair so fast and ran straight thorough the house into my bedroom and collapsed at the edge of my bed landing on the floor, I was hysterical. I sobbed uncontrollably in complete shock and screamed "Noooooo, Mom, nooooo" My heart felt like it was pulled straight from my chest.

I could not believe she was gone. I had just seen her a few days before that for our weekly visit. I demanded that my Dad drive straight to my house, I just wanted to throw my arms around him and cry. I got off the phone with my Dad and Josh was holding me on the floor. I could not stop crying, then I was angry and overwhelmed with emotions. I got up and told Josh "I fee like I need to do something, things need to be done" I stood there in shock, I felt restless, anxious and sick. I went out into the back yard and called my Mom. As soon as she picked up the phone I lost it, she could not ever understand a word I said. I calmed enough to tell her "Madeline is gone, she passed away, find C.J (my brother). C.J was at church, I sobbed and pleaded with my Mom to go get him. I got off the phone with her and called my best friend Anna, then my Job. Then, I went to my sisters apartment while I waited for my brother to get home. All I remember is sitting on the stairs to my sisters apartment crying into her arms. Once my brother got there we cried, hugged and cried some more. We went back to my house and waited for my Dad. He got to my house and was in complete shock. His body would not stop shaking and he barley spoke a word. He brought my grandmothers phone with him, as I'd asked. I immediately started at the top, I called everyone, each call broke my heart into more and more pieces. It came as such a shock to everyone. . . no one expected this, no one. Yes, I know, you never expect death. But I guess part of me always thought if she was going to go, that it would be in a hospital setting where I'd know what was happening and have a chance to say goodbye.

The next day I went with my cousin, Talina and my two Aunts to the funeral home to plan the arrangements. My grandmother had me listed as her beneficiary to her life insurance policy, so I needed to fill out all if the paperwork. Sitting in that room trying to pick out poems and songs and caskets was heart wrenching, so raw and so real. I felt so numb in that moment. After I left the funeral home I got the key to my Grandmothers apartment and decided I'd better go. I needed to get some pictures for the slide show at her funeral and I knew she kept an album. Just walking into the building brought tears to my eyes. The smell of the elevator made me think of her. . . I got to the door turned the key and lost it completely. I ran into her bedroom and collapsed into her side of the bed. I grabbed her pillows and pulled them close to me, I sobbed and cried and sobbed and cried. I don't know that I've ever cried that hard in my life. I sat there for what seemed like an hour, but what must have only been about 10 minutes. I looked around at everything, I could not believe she was gone. . . I went into her bathroom and got a purple sweater from her dirty laundry. I wanted something with her smell on it, her scent. In that moment of being in her apartment, even though she was gone. . . I felt close to her. I felt like she was with me in that room. My mind kept going over every detail of our last visit. . . I went home that night and wrote her obituary and picked out pictures of her life to put in the slideshow.I cried and drank wine, it felt like the emotions were giant ocean waves and they just crashed over me one by one. . .

The first of my family arrived Tuesday night, then the rest on Wednesday. We held the viewing on Wednesday and the funeral on Thursday February 7th at 2pm, it was a beautiful day. Her funeral was beautiful, everything was lovely and she would have loved everything.

The last two weeks have been full of so much emotion, pain, joy and heartache. I still find myself waking up and thinking " I can't believe she's gone".

Josh and I had our IVF consult on February 4th, the day after my Grandmother passed away. I thought about canceling it, but I knew she would not have wanted me to cancel. She was my Infertility cheerleader!! She was so ecstatic about us doing IVF and told me "I know this is going to wok, baby Girl". My grandmother was there for me through all of our fertility treatments, the failed cycles, the hopeful tears, my miscarriage and everything in between. She gave me hope and helped heal my broken heart. I would always crawl up into her bed and lay next to her, she'd put her arms around me and stroke my hair or my hand, she made me feel better and knew just what to say to ease my fears. I wanted so badly to have a baby for her, for her to hold and snuggle. She always told me that I'd make an amazing mother. . . I hope I get the chance to prove her right.

Yesterday morning, exactly two weeks to the day. . . My sisters Dad passed away, my heart breaks for her. Getting that call yesterday morning brought everything right back to the surface, our family can't handle much more. Please keep her (Natalie) in your thoughts.

This month will officially go down as the worst month of 2013
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