My maternal grandfather died when my mother was 12. Since then, I’ve not lost a single family member — be it an aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc. In fact, I’ve lost a good friend — Heather, to cystic fibrosis; when she died, I wasn’t yet ready to really acknowledge her death, so I skipped the funeral. Other than that, I lost a grandfather in law. He was a nice guy; I met him maybe a half-dozen times and spent a combined 24 hours with him at most. That was still pretty rough, and it was sad to see him go.
Just got a call from my mother. My paternal grandmother has been suffering for years, ever since a couple of rounds of drastic heart surgery and the removal of most of her digestive system. The combination of not eating and various complications (drug toxicity, pneumonia, etc.) took its toll, and she suffered a stroke last night. The stroke has caused substantial bleeding in her brain, and she is no longer responsive; they’re just trying to make her last few hours painless, and hoping the five children can make it there in time to say goodbye (there’s no way I could make it in time).
I last saw her at our stateside wedding reception, about a year ago. She was frail, but lucid. I’d been meaning to call for a while now just to say “Hi” knowing that I’d be seeing her for Thanksgiving, even if she was in poor health. Just one of those things that I put off for too long (“I’ll see in her in a month, after all!”), and now it’s too late.
Goodbye, Nana. You and your stubborn nature will be missed.