What We Should Learn From The Young & The Old

To write this is to be able to admit to myself that it's actually happening.  And as much as it hurts me to write this, to say this or to even think this...it's my reality...My beloved Grandmother is dying.  

She's no longer just elderly or getting older.  She's dying.  She's 96-years-old and she's no longer eating.

At first, I was so upset and worried and angry.  I almost wanted to cause a scene at the facility where she's living. How could they let someone starve to death?  How dare they not try to keep my grandmother alive for as long as possible?  Let's put a feeding tube in.  Let's force feed her.  Let's do something, people!

Then, as I walked into her room yesterday, I felt it.  I felt an overwhelming sense of peace.  

It was tangible.  It was beautiful.  A hospice aid sitting by her bedside holding her hand and my Grandmother as still as could be with her eyes closed was a sight I won't soon forget.  

She wasn't in pain.

She wasn't tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position because everything hurts.

She wasn't looking around in confusion wondering where she was or who she was.

She wasn't doing anything.  She just was.  

It's something we could all learn from.  I would imagine no one is living in the moment as purely as you are when you know this life is coming to a close.

She looked at me when I picked up her hand and gently rubbed it.  No, she didn't just look at me.  She looked IN me.  Right through me.  It was the most spiritual thing I've ever experienced...next to having babies.  

The two most spiritual and beautiful moments in my life are officially when I've looked new life and death in the face.  Think about that.

There's a real lesson in that.  The lesson is among other things...to slow down and enjoy the small moments because those are the ones that will matter.

In a given day...just 24 hours...think for a second about how much B.S. you're caught up in.  I won't go down the typical list because we all have different versions of the same crap.  And that's exactly what it is...crap.  

Does it really matter if you blow off that dental cleaning tomorrow to visit a loved one who lives 20 minutes away but somehow you still never find time to visit?  

Does it really matter if your kid skips tutoring today so you two can go sit on a park bench?  What could you do instead of the crap you normally do to make a memory with someone you love?

We rarely find time to just be.  To just exist.  And when I walked into that room yesterday, I just existed with her...for hours.  She was in and out of consciousness from the pain medication but somehow still lucid enough to look at me when she could and smile the biggest, purest smile you could ever imagine.

She was at peace and it was giving me peace.  I wasn't thinking about my embarrassingly long to-do list or whether I was going to hit traffic on the way home.  I was in the moment. I was truly with her in what could be the last moment I'll ever be with her.

And while I may be crying my eyes out even as I write this, I know it's a good cry.  It's the type of cry that is so necessary when losing a loved one.  The transition from denial to acceptance to loss is a beautiful journey.

And while she's still hanging on for now, I know deep down now, that she's ready to go and I'm ready to let her.