On Thursday October 12th, I went out to dinner in Edmonds with friends--across the boat. I was part way through dinner when I got a call asking when I was coming home--my grandma had fallen asleep earlier that day and hadn't woken up yet; the whole family was there. I finished my dinner and got on the ferry and came home. I got there, and she was lying in her chair in the living room. I sat close and held her, and started crying. My mom tried to console me, and then my grandpa, "What can I do to help you? he said. I bawled and said "I just want her to wake up one last time!"
Do you know what happened next? Brace yourself, it's pretty unbelievable (I'm getting goosebumps as I type this). My grandmother woke up. She smiled, she told us she loved us SO many times--which was something I heard often, but my mom, aunt, and uncle said this was the most she's ever said it to them. She told us she was comfortable. She told us she was going through a photo album of her life. She said she wasn't done looking through it yet. She said "Oh my garsh!" a couple of times (something she was known for saying several times a day--we actually got this tattooed on our arms weeks before in her handwriting). You see, my grandma had the perfect timing; she knew I needed to see her awake.
We got to tell her how loved she was. We told her she was the reason we are who we are. We told her it was because of her that we were so close. We wanted her to know, over and over again, how loved she was. We all got to hold her hand, brush back her hair, give her a kiss, and tell her we loved her.
This lasted for two hours. We had two solid hours with her, laughing, smiling, reminiscing, being. We are the lucky ones.
She was ready to fall asleep again around midnight, and we all headed to bed too--my mom stayed with her in the living room. This was the first night she hadn't made it back to her bedroom to sleep for the night.
We woke up, and she stayed asleep. We would move her but she was peacefully sleeping.
Carson worked at Jordan's daycare--which allowed Jordan to be with the family--which was such a blessing. Ashley brought our family lunch, which was another huge blessing since no one wanted to even think about cooking. Ash and Clarke showed up, and Grandma got to meet Clarke for the first time--Clarke was born 10 days prior and had yet to meet my grandma. I hadn't thought about it prior, but having Clarke meet my grandma was one of the best things that could've happened; she won't know her, but she will have met her and she will know her through stories.
We wanted to make my grandma comfortable, so we moved her from her chair to the bed that Hospice had provided. She hardly acknowledged the move. A little while later, she passed. All of us standing around her, holding on to her, telling her how much we loved her.
My grandma passed on Friday October 13th in the middle of the afternoon. You see, my grandma had the perfect timing; she knew we needed the weekend to be with each other.
It really was the most beautiful tragedy. She was surrounded by us all--our hearts so full of love. When she passed, we thought She must've gotten to the end of her photo album.
She got to see Lauren and Connor get married. You see, my grandma had the perfect timing; she knew they needed her to be there.
Jordan got to go with Zack back to Whidbey before he deployed. You see, my grandma had the perfect timing; she knew Jordan needed to be with Zack that weekend.
We spent the evening at my mama's house. Snacking, crying, and holding each other out at the fire pit. We listened to songs that reminded us of her. And after my uncle played "Baby" by Blake Shelton, and after my brother heard that he took off and we couldn't find him for a bit--when it comes to fight or flight, he's usually a fight kinda guy, but Lauren and my dad went looking for him, I realized sometimes our emotions are just too big for our bodies, and we do things we didn't know we would do.
We spent the whole weekend together.
Our friends brought and made us dinners. Our friends sent cards and texts and emails. Our clients gave us grace.
We all deal with grief in different ways, and to be honest with you, this was the first time I had had somebody this close to me pass. My grandma owned a daycare (yes, the daycare that Jordan now owns), and my mom worked there for many years, so I grew up there, with my grandparents. Then, I worked there in high school and into my early twenties, with my grandparents. Now I live with them, so I spent just about every day as an adult with them, too, with my grandparents. I stayed in bed for the next week. It was a really hard time for me, and thankfully Cam was able to take the week off and be there for me and my family.
Each family member processed this differently, but we were all able to lean on each other for support and hugs. You see, because of her, we are the lucky ones.