My sweet Grandma did pass last night, peacefully, with my mom, a few of my grandma’s other daughters and my cousin all by her side.
This morning was rough as I spoke to my mom and could hear the pain in her voice as she told me what I already knew. I’ve been surprised at how all over the place my emotions have been, but I guess that’s just part of the grieving process. Though I’ve been in the midst of stressing out about funeral plans and getting up to Salt Lake and the logistics involved, I’ve also had many things that have lifted my spirits along the way.
Last night when I spoke to my dad, I learned that my grandma was still holding on and that my mom wouldn’t leave her mother’s side at the nursing home and was planning on staying the night. (My parents live about 45 min. away) The only thing that is funny about that, is that my mom broke her leg a few weeks ago and after having surgery last week, was finally fitted with a cast on Wednesday. So here she was on Thursday, in a room for the night with no bed just a chair, probably in serious pain, refusing to leave my grandma. That’s so like her. Sweet and stubborn. But it made me smile to know that she was where she wanted to be.
When my dad contacted me Thursday at noon about my grandma, he told me that she only had a few hours left. She had fallen on Tuesday and because of the seriousness of her fall and her current medical conditions, she was put on morphine. All of my grandma’s nine children, save two of them, live in state so they were able to come and be with her for the next two days, and it was clear by Thursday that she wouldn’t make it.
My aunt who lives here in Arizona, happened to be in Texas helping her daughter move from Virginia. I know she was torn about trying to get to Utah quick, or just to wait and come for the funeral. She decided she really wanted to be there and was able to get the last seat on a late flight, use my mom’s car and make it to the rest home by 12 :30 this morning. My grandma passed away 20 minutes later…
I loved hearing this and other thoughts about my grandma passing from my other aunts and family members, thanks to a cousin’s great idea to start a memory page on Facebook. It’s so hard to not be there right now with my family and because of this group, I have that chance to feel part of everything and not feel so far away at all.
My kids were somber to learn about their great-grandma, but they also couldn’t hide their excitement about going on vacation sooner than we had planned. Missing the last two days of school didn’t seem to bring them down either. Our plans have definitely had to change and though it will be stressful coming up without Jake and getting ready on short notice, I too am looking forward to the trip.
Grandma Betty was such an incredible woman, and really did have a full and wonderful life. She had nine children, and so many grand and great-grand kids that I can’t even tell you the total. ( I do know that there is going to be 5 or more babies added this year alone) My grandparents loved to travel, and they really were world travelers going anywhere and everywhere that they had the opportunity to. My grandma has always been surrounded by family as well as long time friends. She absolutely loved gardening and was still tending to her own flowers until very recently. I think my mom also asked the people taking care of her to let her help with the flower trimming and such if she wanted to. (My mom is just like her mom in this regard)
Grandma’s funeral will take place on the same day that we would have celebrated her 85th birthday, but I have a feeling it will still be a celebration of sorts for all of us. She is being reunited with her husband that passed away over 9 years ago, as well as her own mother who died when my grandma was only 17 and many countless other family members who are welcoming her back home.
I’m so grateful for the chance to have known her, to be a part of her family tree and for the knowledge that I will see her again someday. And the next time I see her, she will remember me. That’s what I look forward to the most…