Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Inviting Death.

My favorite line from Disney's Pollyanna is the pastor's thundering cry: "Death comes... unexpectedly!!"

I suppose it's one of life's few nearly universal truths. Even when you're inviting death, it may come later than you want. My grandma had been on dialysis for some time when she decided it was time to quit. She lay at home in her bed, waiting for her departure time, waking up occasionally from her semi-coma to announce, "I'm still here."

She awoke the second morning of my visit to say in mild frustration, "It's hard to die!"

This afternoon, though, at 12:20 local time, it came. I was so glad to have been able to visit and talk with her at a time when she could talk back. I'm glad to have held her hand and told her how grateful I am to her. I'm glad that she patted my hand when I got all teary and made me feel like it was going to be okay.

I'm grateful she met Weston. He saw her and grinned. She was tickled at his interaction with her and often commented, "he's not afraid of me!" He wasn't. Not even a little. He sat on her lap and smiled and cooed and chewed on her bed rails.

The first day we chatted. I told her stories of my kids. She visited with friends and neighbors. She mentioned her funeral preferences. She told me how much she wanted me to sing with my dad. She seemed lively and eager.

The second morning she requested only family be in her room. She was more tired. She listened while everyone in her room talked around her. She took some anti-nausea medication and slept for ten straight hours. We thought she might not wake up. To everyone's surprise (especially her own), she did, awaking at 1am with a chipper, "Good morning!"

On Sunday morning my uncles gave her a blessing. She had another dose of anti-nausea medicine. She gave Wes a little chuckle and a coo. And then she went to sleep and Wes and I flew home.

I am missing her.


  1. God Speed Grandma. And Hugs to you Elise.

  2. I'm so sorry, Elise. Bittersweet. I'm glad you were able to spend a little time with her. Love you so much.

  3. I'm sorry, Elise. What a hard thing. I'm glad you got to see her.