The Death of My Grandmother

Despite the fact that I've spent years preparing myself for the day of my grandmother’s death, and despite the fact that I've frequently thought about what I would write when the time came, I find myself now emotionally confused and without words.

I'm both sad and grateful for her passing. I’m obviously sad because I was quite close with her, but I’m simultaneously grateful because I knew that she was suffering. Her health really started to deteriorate a few months ago. The last time I saw her she was bedridden and mostly unresponsive. I say mostly because she would sometimes make certain facial expressions when we spoke to her. Most of them suggested to me that she was in pain.

It hurts me not to know what the last thing she remembered about me was, when she remembered anything at all. Was it my visiting her? Was it even about something recent? Maybe it was a memory of me when I was little. Maybe it was the memory of taking me to the park to feed the ducks. Maybe it was giving me piggy back rides. Or maybe it was calling my friends’ houses to tell me to come home because it was late.

Perhaps it’s selfish of me to care so much about what her last memory of me was. What really matters is that her last memories were pleasant. Maybe her last memory was of her youth. Maybe it was of her falling in love. Or giving birth to my father. I know it might sound odd to say this, but for most of my life, I never saw my grandmother as having her own life. Her life was always connected to mine. She was my grandmother. She was my caretaker. She was my cook. And honestly, it was a very privileged position for me to be in. Because she did such a good job taking care of the house and children, I never had to worry about any hardship. Indeed, it's an understatement to say that my family was extremely lucky to have her.

My grandmother was possibly the sweetest and most virtuous person I've ever known. I don’t have any memory of her displaying any vices. Moreover, she never seemed to question her role in life. She never asked why it was her job to take care of the children, and to cook and clean. She just did it. She also never complained about not being able to do what she wanted with her life. There was no wishing to live life again, no regret for having done this or that. She was entirely selfless. All her actions and everything that she did was for the welfare of her loved ones.

I will miss her. My family will miss her. And I dare say that without her presence, the world is a little less good.