Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Saying Goodbye

My mother-in-law and grandma
Thom and I were sitting our living room, enjoying a lazy Sunday when we received a phone call from Thom's uncle. He asked us if we wanted to see grandma one last time, she had just passed away. We got ready as quickly as we could and got down to the hospital. Grandma collapsed at lunch, and her heart stopped beating. Grandma lived a full life and had been sick for the last several years. She lost her husband, Thom's grandfather, almost a decade ago and was moved out to Maine so that Thom's uncle could take care of her. Grandma was with grandpa again, but she left her family grieving.

The funeral was held the following week in Indiana, grandma's home. Thom and his uncle flew out for four days. I was unable to get grievance leave and stayed behind. There should be rules against a spouse not being permitted to accompany their spouse to a funeral. It did not help the situation that this was also our first time apart since we were married.

The last several days have been spent listening to Thom process through everything and grieve. Grandma and grandpa were a significant part of Thom's childhood. He used to spend every summer in Indiana with his grandparents. He talked about the Polish food his grandma used to make, and the walks he used to take with his grandpa. We visited a local Polish deli, and Thom relived a moment of his childhood.

Like all wounds, the loss of grandma will take time to heal. We have plans to keep her memory alive through her traditions, food, and culture.

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" ~Dr. Suess

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