I have no more grandparents left

My grandmother died a couple hours ago. My mother and aunt say it feels like a relief, like she’s been let out of prison. But right now it just feels sad.

This weekend, we rearranged the pictures on our walls and I found a picture of my grandparents at my college graduation. That was ten years ago. It doesn’t sound like a long time ago, but it feels like a lifetime. My grandfather was alive, my grandmother was very lively and energetic.

I also just received my mother’s new chapbook of poetry in the mail on Friday. In it was this poem:

Mama, Mama
by Bonnie Lyons

Intending kindness, an aunt tells me,
“That is not your mother.”

“That” is an aged, immobile woman
deadweight lifted morning and night
out of her bed and placed in a Lazyboy.
Sometimes she says a single word,
but she does not see the brown pelican
land on the pier or the light diamond the bay.

She eats what she is fed,
so some part of her
wants to live.
But the mother my aunt
was thinking of would beg
release from this existence.

A few years ago another mother cried
“Help me, help me.”
But then as now
I do not know how
to help,
which you
is you.

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~ by realsupergirl on November 13, 2005.

11 Responses to “I have no more grandparents left”

  1. Hey Eve.

    So sorry for your loss. I get the feeling. I was 13 when I lost my last living grandparent and it hit me hard too. At this point, I don’t really have extended family and sometimes that’s incredibly isolating, especially since I’m not close with my immediate family either. I’ve kind of adopted Char’s grandparents as my own in some ways. I was thinking of eventually going to a nursing home and finding someone who has no grandchildren and adopting him/her/them as my own grandparent. Problem is, I hate nursing homes. There’s gotta be another way to find a grandchildless senior, no? If you ever wanna investigate with me, let me know.

  2. Interestingly enough, my grandmother passed away on Friday night, while we were still 45 minutes out from making it to the hospital. I, too, no longer have any grandparents. I completely get where you’re coming from with the this is a blessing, a relief, all that…

    How very strange. We should meet up, have a hug and a toast to grandparents.

  3. So sorry. Both my maternal grandparents died when I was in high school and were very sick for some time before they passed away. My grandmother was unable to communicate or move much for about a year before she died (she had a stroke.) It was extremely painful to see her like that. I felt lucky–in a very selfish way–to have only seen her a few times like that. My memories of her are very lively, happy ones.

    It is interesting how time seems to go at different speeds at different ages in our lives–faster and slower depending on the circumstances.

  4. So sorry to hear. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  5. Very sorry to hear it. Physical disability is challenge enough, but for social creatures like us not to be able to communicate, or even indicate that anyone’s still home… it’s not just one death, but innumerable ones. In that way, the biological death at least provides a discernible end for all concerned. Sadness and relief are both perfectly understandable; which dominates is partly a function of where you were standing. My condolences.

  6. [ H U G ]

  7. I’m sorry for your loss, too…and I’m right there with you – let’s get a drink some time. When are you in the Boston area next?

    It might have to wait till after Thanksgiving, but I could also totally so a road trip to Northhamptom for Sylvester’s banana bread french toast…

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your grandmother. May Hashem, Who is everywhere, comfort you amongst the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

  9. Condolences. –TRP

  10. Oh no! I’ve been away from phones and computers for the last, well, until now and I’m so, so sorry to learn about the passing of your grandmother. There are no words that I can think of that do more than offer solace and comfort. Only time can actually dull the hurting. But you know that. And the love of those closest to you can bolster you. I am holding you in my heart and mind and sending you thoughts of love and hugs and hope.

  11. So sorry to hear about your loss. Oseh shalom bim ramov hu ya’aseh shalom aleynu v’al kol yisrael…

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