Saturday, August 16, 2003

Before I head into the templates and never emerge again, a few thoughts.

My husband's grandmother just died. I find that, apart from my father and my brother, I feel uncomfortable telling people how I really feel about this. Simply put: about bloody time.

This woman was a wonderful woman. In her time she was an excellent cook and, judging from my Mom-in-law, a successful mother. She was an artist when it came to yarns and fabrics. We have an afghan and a denim duffle she made that are heirloom quality. The loss of her presence is a profound one but it was one that occurred a long time ago. She suffered from Alzheimer's and for the last year of her life wasn't even aware that she WAS alive. Let's not get into existential discussions about the presence of trapped souls in ruined minds. For the last year of her life she recognized no one, including herself. She had little to no control over bodily functions. Those bodily functions include everything a reader might think that phrase implies, but it also means that she had no appetite. She coudn't remember how to feel hungry. When she was hurt the only option was to sedate her because she couldn't understand what was going on. Her death was merciful because it ended a life that had become nothing but suffering. We've been mourning her loss for years. How do we mourn her release?

There is a lesson I am learning from my husband today. Simply put, we regret what we don't do a lot more than what we do. His regrets for his grandmother are profound, but they are all from time not taken and words unsaid. We can't live in our relatives' pockets and not all of us are born to skydive, but the lesson is clear: whatever it is do it now, because tomorrow is promised to no one.

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