My grandmother passed away last night. My father’s mother, my Oma, had been in a delicate state the past few months. This May she would have turned 93. Many people will say she had a good life, that it was her time to go. No matter how old people are when they die, it’s still painful and sad, and there aren’t words that make it better.
I’m relieved that she no longer has to lay in a bed uncomfortable, unable to walk on her own, dress on her own, feed herself. Her every movement causing her to experience more and more pain. To see her like that, confronts you with the truth about life.
Her children, grandchildren took turns to see her and be by her side. No one wanted her to be alone. She died slowly before all of our eyes. To me, this was the most difficult thing to witness, knowing that she was dying, that her body could no longer keep her spirit, to know that at any point she would take her last breath and it would be over. Time, as cruel as time is, passed. The minutes, and the hours, and the days passed, all we could do was wait.
Throughout this week, I thought a lot about her, the woman she had been. She survived wars, and economic downfalls. She worked hard to run a business; sometimes it was good and sometimes not. She raised four children, who all followed their own path. Still, there’s so little I know about the woman she was, all I knew growing up is that she was my grandmother, and she excelled at being one.
My Oma, was a kind, loving woman, who played with us, who sent us packages, who cooked delicious food. She taught me how to make crepes, and she taught me about saving money. Every birthday and every Christmas I received a beautiful hand-made card, and in her cursive writing the sweetest wishes and hopes for my life.
I’d like to think that life was good to her, but most importantly I hope she knew how loved she truly was.
Her death made me think about how we treat the people in our lives. While she was fortunate to have grown old, not everyone has this privilege. We walk around thinking that life is our right, we feel entitled, but we all have an expiration date and most of us don’t know when that will be.
Maybe we don’t show enough love, maybe we forget to call those who are far, we forget to write to those we haven’t seen in a while. We forget to visit. We are always too busy with our phones, computers and our problems. I’m guilty of this. I forget to call, I don’t make the time to tell people I love them, and how important they are.
Make the time. Say ‘I love you’ today.