July 26, 2005

same theme, different voice

My grandmother died yesterday. She was 92, past her expiration date. I don't mean to sound flippant, but I know that's how she felt about it. She hadn't planned to live past 85, hadn't wanted to live in a nursing home, hadn't chosen any of it. I feel sad but not as much for the loss of the tangible her as for the fact that you can't go back in time, revisit your loved ones as they were, as you were together. I spent a lot of time with her when I was a child. She was an interesting woman, unhappy but content, simple but complex, peaceful but troubled. I loved her. She's gone and yet not gone. I can hear her voice calling me dear, smell her apartment, see her owl and cacti collections, her stack of mystery novels and the semi-precious stones she kept in a jar in the bedroom, great triggers for a child's imagination. I can still smell her perfume as she sat (sits) beside me at the Joffrey Ballet or in the audience at a Broadway play, still smile at my own teenager's arrogant surprise when I ran (run) into her walking alone near Lincoln Center in the city she loved so much.

It's all still there. So, in a sense, is she. And yet not. Very much not. Sad, yes.

Posted by Tamar at July 26, 2005 12:02 PM | TrackBack

Yes, sad. So many losses for you right now; so much change. You seem to be bearing it with a great deal of grace and equanimity, though; I'm impressed and proud of you.

Was this your maternal or paternal grandmother?

Posted by: Tiny Coconut at July 26, 2005 01:33 PM

Paternal. And thanks. I've mostly been riding this storm, though I feel drained right now. No surprise, I guess.

Posted by: Tamar at July 26, 2005 10:52 PM

Oh, Tamar, damn. I am so sorry. I love how you paint a picture of her, though. It's as if I can see her, with those images you've conjured. Surely, she will always be.

Posted by: toni at July 27, 2005 12:02 AM

Surely, if people live on after their deaths mostly through the memories of others, it's particularly lucky to be remembered by someone who can come up with words like the ones you've written.

Posted by: Travis at July 27, 2005 02:55 AM

Oh my god. What a big mix of life's changes, right now. How's your dad holding up, amid it all? I bet he's doubly thrilled you're coming....

Posted by: Chris at July 27, 2005 01:58 PM

My sympathies, for both losses.

Posted by: Baba Yaga at July 30, 2005 06:19 AM

And my sympathies also.

Posted by: Kay at July 30, 2005 07:59 PM
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