Hold on to the ones you love.

My grandmother passed away today. She was my father's mother, the only grandparent I had left. She was 86.

A few months back she had a stroke that left one side of her body partially paralyzed. We had hope that she would recover most if not all use of that side. But then her mind started wandering -- she started imagining that people were coming into her room and taking her things. She wouldn't recognize certain people. She would claim that she was hungry, that she hadn't eaten, when my father had just helped her eat. Little things like that, that started small but then began to snowball. That made me want to visit her more often than I normally did.

On Friday, I remember thinking to myself, Gosh, I haven't visited Abuela in a while. I should go see her. And then today I received a phone call from my mom, the kind of phone call you never expect and that you never want to get: "Your grandmother's in the hospital. She had another stroke. We don't think she's going to make it."

My boyfriend and I rushed to the hospital where I found out my grandmother was currently being observed by the emergency doctor. Some kind of scan was being performed. My aunt (my dad's sister) went in to see what was going on, and then hurried back motioning for my dad and their other sibling, my uncle, to join her. Moments later, my aunt returned with my father and uncle, tears streaming down her face. My grandmother had passed away with all three of her children surrounding her. It was very sudden and she seems to have died peacefully.

I am happy that she is no longer suffering. I am happy that it was sudden for her, not prolonged, and I hope she did not feel any pain or fear. For my family and myself, I am very sad. This was my last grandparent, my father's only remaining parent. We are both orphans of a sort now, and I can't help but feel unmoored, lost, drifting.

Moments like these make you want to hold on the ones you love a little tighter. To make the good times count, make them last. In the hustle and bustle of every day, it's so easy to forget this. I will try my hardest not to forget this in the future.

My father and grandmother on her 84th birthday.

8 comment(s):

Marc said...

My most sincere condolences, Ana. Hang in there and try to stay focused on the happy memories you have of her.


Anonymous said...

I heard this morning via Twitter. I'm really sorry to hear about this. I can't say I know what it's like to lose someone you love, but it really must be difficult. My deepest sympathies, Ana.


Vanessa said...

I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Sending hugs and prayers to you and your family!

Danny said...

I send you all my love and strength!

hugs and lot's of love

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and you family!

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss :( She looks like she was a wonderful woman.

Malia said...

oh ana where have i been?
i'm sorry i wasn't around to acknowledge this sooner.
i am so deeply sorry for your loss.
i am thinking of you.