For a moment, (or, 2 separate moments,) I couldn't understand (and kind of questioned) two things. WHY could I not have been with Granny the night before? To spend the night, because it would have been no trouble as it was my day off. I even felt a bit of anger ... not toward any person ... just toward life. And then, WHY did the minutes and hours have to go as they did? Only two or three more hours, and Shirley could have been there too. Somehow, both of those things were fleeting thoughts, removed as irrelevant. There was/is obviously a reason for both of those things, I simply cannot see them. Fretting over them would be a waste of time and energy, and I never once saw or heard Granny do that. So I mentally dropped it, seeing how easily it could have become a fixated focus, solving nothing.
One thing that stands out to me was when I was removing Granny's nail polish and a few other things, requiring me to let go of her hand. Her Great-niece, the one who is the age of my oldest daughter, 21, and who is very dear to me ... referring to me as "Aunt," and I refer to her as my niece ... but in reality, she is my ex-husband's cousin's daughter. (That may take a moment to process.) Anyway, she is like one of my own children and I am so very impressed and proud of her strength during this time. She went to the store to buy nail polish remover and cotton balls, as well as going to her car for tweezers as I was doing things I knew I would do at the funeral home. She stood beside me, and I asked her if she understood why I was holding Granny's hand, and that I didn't want to not hold it. She said, "Yes." I proceeded to ask her if she felt like she could hold her Great-aunt's hand while I did a few things ... and she did, without hesitation. Understanding how difficult this would be for anyone, my heart beamed with pride and she became even more "mine" than she already was ... though I didn't think that to be possible. Somehow, I feel she is now a better person for her loving actions. Sweet baby girl .... I just love "love."
In death, that person is the most vulnerable and helpless, and we don’t want a stranger taking care of these personal things when we are more than capable of doing so, once we get past and overcome our anxiety associated with death. Not to mention, it gives us one-on-one alone time and somehow helps with the grieving process, giving a feeling of “doing something” in a situation which feels nothing can be done. Plus, it meant the world to her daughter and other loved ones. That is an opportunity to give a gift beyond one any dollar can purchase. The gift of genuine love and respect … something this stoic lady had more than earned.
I agreed with her, and complimented her ever-so-professional polishing job.
We signed the memory board, then went back at 4:00 for visitation.
Her riding in the Jeep with the top off, laughing and smiling … and another favorite is the poem/letter I wrote to her and was blessed enough to have the opportunity to read it to her.