Grandma

My grandma passed away in July of this year and I completed a small piece earlier this morning,  putting together some of the thoughts swirling in my head following her death. I am still open to expanding on the thoughts below, and perhaps turning it into a short story. For now, I wanted to share it as it is.

****

Maybe to someone looking in from the outside, her favourite grandson seemed insensitive to her death. He was laughing and drinking with his family, people he knew from childhood and people he was meeting for the first time. He did the eulogy, but his voice shook from stage fright more than grief. Perhaps her death was only a vacation for him, a retreat to a tropical island. That was what onlookers thought, and the grandson started to question himself as well.

He had yet to shed tears. Maybe the death wasn’t real for him yet. He saw the body but reeled away from it, feeling his stomach turn as he viewed Grandma’s face. She seemed so much smaller, shriveled. Her skin wrapped around her bones like plastic wrap.

The grandson felt his stomach turn again as he entered Grandma’s room. He looked to the bed, where his grandma usually laid. Then he looked to the couch beside, where he spent hours talking and watching television with Grandma whenever he visited. The room was familiar and carried so many good memories, yet the grandson couldn’t bring himself to enter it. Her presence still lingered here, adding weight to the air ahead of him. She threatened to suffocate him.

The grandson felt like something malevolent lingered here now, a perversion of the woman he loved. His dad suggested he sleep in her room, like he used to when he was a child. That suggestion was ignored and the grandson continued avoiding the room, feeling like something was lying in wait for him there.

Her death stayed with him when he returned across the sea. One of his favourite songs became a cruel reminder. “Grandma’s Hands” was now a reverse lullaby- threatening to make him cry when its words rang out.

He had a bookmark with her face on it, and a prayer dedicated to her memory. It was the only one he’d used since the funeral, finding comfort in the picture of his grandma as he remembered: smiling and healthy. Sometimes it was just another bookmark, with its content forgotten by the user and scrutinized by strangers on the bus. Other times, the bookmark was his own talisman, giving him access to a multitude of good memories from his childhood.

The Funeral

Sorry for the delay with this blog post. I have added apartment hunting to my to-do list so I’ve been busier than normal. This is in addition to work, the gym, guitar and writing my second book.

Before you get worried: the below piece is fiction.

****

Her pictures were hung all over the church,

In her best dresses, with her best makeup,

 

I stood on the podium,

I was supposed to talk about how great my sister was,

How sad I was that she was gone,

How empty my life was without her,

Yet I couldn’t,

 

My sister was nothing more than a person I had the misfortune of sharing blood with,

She was rude, insecure, ungrateful and manipulative,

There is nothing to mourn with her passing,

She wasn’t murdered,

She didn’t commit suicide,

She just passed away in her sleep,

 

Why do we feel the need to not only downplay someone’s faults when they die,

But also try to paint them as a perfect human being,

Not a single speaker talked about her issues,

Saying that she had problems, but that she was still family,

They all tried to make her look like Mother Teresa,

She is far from it,

She was more than flawed,

She wasn’t even decent,

She was my sister,

She is dead,

And I’m celebrating.

 

Life

We still don’t know what it’s true meaning is, but we know that a big part of life are the relationships we form with one another,

The people we surround ourselves with,

Who shape who we are,

And we can only hope that chance and fate bestow us with people who bring happiness into our lives,

Although the world seems to revolve around money and fame, the loss of someone we love always makes us remember our true priorities,

We remember them and all the people who mean the most to us, those who are always there for us and truly give without asking for anything in return,

The world is filled with negativity, sadness and betrayal, but the people we care about always make us forget that,

The only good thing we can take from their passing is that they will find peace, and we can continue to honour them with our memories,

More importantly, we can honour them by letting go of the petty things that cloud our own peace,

Our insecurities, our grudges,

Our loved ones probably lectured us about this at one point,

It’s easier said than done, but we can’t truly be free until we let go of these anchors,

We can be more grateful for what we have and remember that we were blessed to be in the presence of someone who truly brightened our lives.