For Mother's Day this year, I got my Mom, my MIL, and my Grandma Jane each a gorgeous hanging basket. I decided to get my Grandma Doris a flowering cactus because they are a lot lower maintenance. Grandma Doris never seemed to have time to take care of the baskets, and was always at work. She always talked about retiring, but never seemed to actually do it. She swore that with the downturn in the economy, business was bad enough that she was really going to do it. She and my grandfather had plans to go on a church history tour this summer, vising Palmyra and other similar places.
I ran out of time Mother's Day weekend, and didn't deliver her flowering cactus to her. Two weeks later, she was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and kidney failure. I visited her that weekend, but didn't bring the cactus then because I thought that a plant that needed care would be too overwhelming to her. I did give her a gorgeous bouquet of cut flowers, but there was a bunch of other arrangements, and I'm not too sure she felt good enough to appreciate any of them.
When I bought that cactus, I never imagined that it would outlive her. But, I found myself watering it today, and thinking about how she died last night.
I'm sad that she's gone. She was a sweet, enthusiastic, wonderful person, and my world seems a little dimmer today without her.
I saw her on Friday, and she was in terrible shape. She was on a lot of painkillers, and only briefly woke up. She tried to say she loved us, but I'm not sure how aware and conscious she was. My grandfather was in a mild state of panic. He didn't want to let her go, and didn't want to face life without her. When they'd left for the hospital, she'd said that she was scared to death. He replied that he understood how she felt. She was a little angry and said she didn't think so. I think his situation was almost worse though. I can't imagine being 80 years old, in relatively good health, and watching the love of my life dying. Knowing that I was going to have to face life without that person. Watching them suffer, and feeling helpless to do anything. Knowing I'd face death eventually as well, but without a spouse there to hold my hand. While I'm sure my grandma WAS scared to death, I think my grandfather was even more scared.
I'll mourn her loss, but I am happy that she is no longer in pain. I'm not sure what I believe about the afterlife anymore, but I would like to think she still exists, and is with her family and loved ones. More than mourning her death, I think I'll mourn for my grandfather's sake. I think death is much harder on the living. I'm not sure how he'll deal with this.